MANHATTAN, NY (12/20/2011)(readMedia)-- There's nothing like a giant check to spruce up your holiday decorations! The New York Lottery today awarded $19,000,000 in prizes to six new lottery millionaires from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island and Staten Island. The festive event featured a $14,000,000 Lotto jackpot winner from Staten Island and five $1,000,000 scratch-off winners.
After 15 years of working as a grievance representative for the Service Employees' International Union local 32BJ, nothing could keep Edward Foti, 50, of Staten Island from finishing out his work day. Not even a $14,000,000 Lotto jackpot.
"I found out I was a winner, and I went back to work." said the longtime SEIU employee. "I represent people who are out of work so I have to do my work."
The father of one purchased his ticket at Clinton News on Clinton Street in Brooklyn on August 17. Of the 10 number combinations on his Lotto Quick Pick ticket, the fourth matched all six numbers drawn that night: 18, 20, 34, 37, 42, 56.
"This is like getting hit by lightning ten times," he said of his random turn of luck.
Foti elected to receive his prize as a one-time lump sum payment of $9,140,573. He will receive a net payment totaling $5,681,232.
"I vacation on the Jersey Shore, and I think it's time for an upgrade," Foti said of his plans for the windfall. "I would love a place near the ocean."
The five scratch-off millionaires to ring in the holiday season with a Lottery check for $1,000,000 include:
Esther Frederick, 54, of the Bronx. On December 9, three days after the new Golden Opportunity scratch-off game launched, Frederick claimed its first $1,000,000 top prize. "Golden Opportunity drew me to it," the Medicaid eligibility specialist said of her ticket choice. That fateful decision occurred at the Patel News newsstand on Broadway and Chambers Streets in Manhattan. Frederick will receive her prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000 and will net $31,077 after taxes. She said of her plans for the money, "I know it's nothing flashy, but I have always wanted to buy a Kia!"
Robert Gredder, 61, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Gredder, a car dealership driver, showed his wife and daughter his lucky ticket and bought some champagne to celebrate. He is New York's second $1,000,000 Winfall winner. Gredder purchased his ticket on December 2 at Karim 1 Stop Mini Mart on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. He will receive his $1,000,000 prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000, netting him $31,077 through 2030. His plans for the riches are simple, "I'll take care of my family and give to my church."
Virginio Irizarry, 68, of the Bronx. Irizarry's $1,000,000 Wheel of Fortune jackpot left him feeling "very, very happy." "I normally buy the Cashword tickets but I haven't had much luck with those lately," explained the Puerto Rico native. "So I decided to give Wheel of Fortune a spin." Irizarry purchased his Lottery ticket at Antonio Baez Grocery on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx. His change in routine won him $50,000 a year for 20 years. After taxes, he will receive $31,077. "I have so many plans for the money," he explained, "including sharing some with my family, and putting some away for when I retire."
William Storm, 69, of Seaford, Nassau County. Storm claimed his $1,000,000 Winfalljackpot on November 28, three days after he purchased the scratch-off ticket at Friendly Cards and Gifts on Wantagh Avenue in Wantagh. Storm's plans for the 'Winfall' windfall include a cruise for his entire family, and saving for college for his seven grandchildren. As with most New York Lottery scratch-off jackpots, he will receive his $1,000,000 prize as an annuity. Storm will receive 20 annual payments of $50,000, netting him $33,015 through 2030.
Christina Torres, 26, of Green Point, Brooklyn. Another Brooklynite to receive a $1,000,000 scratch-off jackpot today, Torres works in daycare. "I could not believe my eyes," Torres said of her reaction. "I took a picture with my phone and sent it to my boyfriend and asked, 'Do you see what I see?' He convinced me it was real!" She plans to use her Million Dollar Bankroll jackpot to go back to school for her master's degree in special education. She bought her winning ticket at Jiffy's Grocery on Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn on November 15 and claimed her prize on December 2. Torres will receive her prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000, netting her $31,077 after taxes.