Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 6, 2016, 11:05 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Mom, daughter share $1 million NY lottery prize

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Mom, daughter share $1 million NY lottery prize

Elephants are known for their luck in Laos, where Viengkham Kounnavong was born.

So when the Henrietta assembly-line worker was selecting five lottery tickets to play last month, she immediately chose one with a pachyderm theme. And it paid off, in an elephantine way.

Kounnavong, a mother of three and grandmother of one, beat odds of more than 1 in 5 million to win the $5 ticket's top prize of $1 million.

But trying to convince others of her win wasn't so easy.

Kounnavong, 46, who bought her lottery tickets Jan. 14 at the Wegmans Food Market, 2599 East Henrietta Road, Henrietta, went out to her car to scratch them off as her husband, Kham Kounnavong, stayed inside to shop.

She scratched off her Jumbo Bucks ticket to reveal a coin instant win symbol and said: "Oh my God, I won a million dollars." She raced inside to tell someone.

Kounnavong took the ticket to the store's service desk and said, "Here lady, I think I won $1 million."

And her husband didn't believe her. "He said, 'Yeah, right,'" she said.

She called her daughter, Anna Vargas, to come to her house because there was an emergency. Vargas, 24, who thought the worst, was upset as she raced to the house.

"My mom was jumping around, saying she won $1 million," Vargas said.

At a press conference at the store Wednesday, a smiling Kounnavong said she plans to return to Laos to see her family. Her daughter has never visited the country. She also plans to pay bills.

Kounnavong will share the prize with her daughter because they had promised each other to split a jackpot should they win.

Each will receive $25,000 over 20 years, minus taxes, which will be about a third of their prize.

Kounnavong says she plays the lottery "about every day. ... I love every single game."

She's an assembly line worker at Advance Circuit Technology in Chili, and Vargas works at the service desk at Home Depot. Both plan to continue working.

"Everyone at work, they're all happy for me," Kounnavong said.

Also at the press conference, Wegmans was given an award by lottery officials for having the highest average store lottery sales in the state. Last year, more than $61 million in lottery tickets were sold in New York Wegmans stores.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

3 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by slick.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar

United States
Member #6676
September 3, 2004
95 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 14, 2005, 9:45 pm - IP Logged

--winner2b

    Avatar
    New Member
    nassau
    Bahamas
    Member #10936
    January 31, 2005
    3 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 16, 2005, 5:36 pm - IP Logged

    973 300

      Avatar
      New Member
      nassau
      Bahamas
      Member #10936
      January 31, 2005
      3 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 16, 2005, 5:37 pm - IP Logged

      130 357