It was a Hanukkah miracle!
Long Island mom Yuliya Lankri said her husband's holiday gift of a New York Lottery scratch-off ticket will pay $1 million a year for life — with a guarantee of at least $20 million.
"Miracles happen, and they happen on Hanukkah, and I believe in that," beamed Lankri, 37, of Valley Stream, at a press conference called by the state Lottery Commission in late January.
The stay-at-home housewife and mother of three said her husband, Gabriel, 46, bought the $30 "Win $1,000,000 a Year For Life" ticket on Dec. 21 at a Queens Village store.
"It's all yours, baby," he told her when he got home.
Yuliya, who immigrated to America from Russia two decades ago, used a penny to scratch off the ticket and realized, to her amazement, she'd won an annual check of $661,800 after taxes.
"I didn't believe it. I just said, 'It's impossible,' and I said we would go in tomorrow and see.
"But my husband said, 'No, no no. We're going in today. It's real, baby,' " she said.
When they found out he was right, Gabriel tried to insist the prize was all hers, "but I said, 'No, no. It's ours,' " she said.
She said she and her husband "have been happily married for 19 years," and the first thing the money will buy them is a romantic weekend in Paris this spring without the kids.
It also will pay for college for the kids, two girls, ages 16 and 14, and a 4-year-old boy, and "maybe one day, we'll get a new house."
Once she heard about the windfall, their older daughter asked for a Mercedes. Her youngest just wants Transformers toys.
"The 14-year-old, she doesn't care. She said, 'Don't worry, this [first] million dollars is going to go so fast and you'll have nothing left,' " her mom said.
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