Thank goodness for bad traffic.
A Long Island, New York, electrician got sick of waiting in a traffic jam, so he pulled over at a gift shop to buy scratch-off tickets — and won $5 million.
Thomas Mainella, 62, was driving home from work in December when he hit a road detour in Plainview. Rather than suffer though the bumper-to-bumper headache, he pulled over at Sunny's Cards and Gifts to pass the time, he said.
He bought six Get Set for Life scratch-offs, sat down and started to play, he said.
"The fifth one said, 'You're the winner.' I just yelled, 'I freaking won!' and threw my hands up," Mainella said.
He surprised his fiancee, Donna, at home that night by showing her the winning ticket, he said.
"I asked her, 'Do you believe in me?'" he said. "She said 'Yeah.' Then I showed her — and we hugged and kissed," he said.
Mainella opted to take a $172,000 annual payout and said he planned to keep working until he and his wife can retire together. He had no clue how he'd spend the cash, he said.
He was one of four Long Island residents who took home a total $12 million in Lotto winnings on Tuesday.
Sheila Esposito, 67, who works for the IRS, won $1 million from a Million Dollar Money Clip scratch-off ticket.
She and her daughter were so stunned, "We kept repeating, 'This can't be true, this can't be true!'" Esposito said.
Other lotto winners include Jan Graff, who won $5 million, and Glenn Sternkopf, who won $1 million.
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