Yolanda Vega, the most recognizable voice of the New York Lottery, celebrated her 20th anniversary with the state Friday and there are no signs her number is up.
"I'm going to continue to do the numbers until I can't see them anymore," the 54-year-old Brooklyn native told the Daily News.
Vega, who has an economics degree from Hunter College, has been praised by Oprah and lampooned by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in a popular youtube video. She was even memorialized with a bobblehead doll.
It's her signature vowel rolling, that hits the jackpot with viewers.
"Many women have told me that the first word their little girls say is Yo-Laaanda," Vega said. "Must be the melodic way I say it."
When she was invited to Oprah's show in 1994, along with 16 anchor women for a program on makeovers, the queen of daytime television stood and welcomed her guest with Vega's signature sign-in.
Yolanda Vega bobblehead dolls are given away to players who spend $50 or more on instant game tickets. Several of the dolls have turned up on Ebay.
Vega, a married mother of two, made $12 an hour when she started in 1990 and now makes $85,000 a year. She's announced winning numbers from the State Fair in Syracuse and the observation deck of the Empire State Building.
"New Yorkers like the way Yolanda says her name," state lottery director Gordon Medenica said. "But they love her because she's the real deal."
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