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Auto shop owner finds winning $2.9M lottery ticket in his truck

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Auto shop owner finds winning $2.9M lottery ticket in his truck
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A Long Island auto body shop owner just found out that he has been driving around with nearly $3 million in his truck.

Jerry Ritieni bought $20 worth of lottery tickets July 19, but instead of putting them in his pocket as he normally does, he shoved them into the center console and forgot all about them.

A month later, he was fishing around in his truck to find the keys to his Vermont home and found the Lotto tickets collecting dust.

He brought them into his office at Extreme Auto Body Repairs in Massapequa and looked up the numbers online.

"I was going through my numbers one by one, circling each number that matched up," Ritieni told The Post on Thursday.

"It took a minute for me to comprehend that I just hit the jackpot. I was like, 'No way, no way! Holy s–t!' "

He ran out of his office to find his 17-year-old son.

"I told my son I had just won the Lotto," Ritieni recalled.

"He didn't believe me. I joke around a lot, so his reaction was, 'Yeah, OK.' "

The father-son duo drove to a lottery office in Plainview, where workers confirmed Ritieni was the winner of $2.9 million — beating the 1-in-47 million odds. 

"I was completely shocked, I still am," Ritieni said. "My jaw dropped to the ground."

When he returned to work about two hours later, everyone knew they were looking at a much richer man.

"He came back smiling," said Ritieni's employee, 24-year-old Ryan Rivera. "His smile gave it away — he never smiles. That was a $3 million smile."

The 47-year-old father of two still has some time to decide whether he will take the lump-sum payout of $1.9 million or opt for 26 annual payments.

"My only plan is to secure my kids' future," he said.

Last week, he stopped in at Cumberland Farms in Syosset — where he bought the tickets — on his way up to Vermont and told an employee his story, but the man didn't believe him.

"I went back and did what I normally do," Ritieni said. "I told the guy at the counter, 'Hey, I heard you guys sold a winning ticket here. I'm the guy.'

"I even showed him the picture of me holding the ticket, but he didn't believe me," he said with a chuckle.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

NY Post

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16 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by numberpulse.
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noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
Bay Area - California
United States
Member #136477
December 12, 2012
4108 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 5, 2014, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

As President Ronald Reagan would say

" There we go again!"

 

Another  " found it in my  truck success story".. ..Party

    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
    Idaho
    United States
    Member #56506
    November 21, 2007
    6537 Posts
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    Posted: September 5, 2014, 2:58 pm - IP Logged

    I don't understand people who toss their tickets around or don't keep track of them. They could be worth thousands or millions at some point. I'm not surprised that so many winning tickets go unclaimed when you keep reading stories like this.

    But he was one of the lucky ones who found it before it was thrown away or expired. So congrats to him for finding it and hopefully it does a lot of good for him and his family.

    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      Ringleader
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81740
      October 28, 2009
      40484 Posts
      Online
      Posted: September 5, 2014, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

      I don't understand people who toss their tickets around or don't keep track of them. They could be worth thousands or millions at some point. I'm not surprised that so many winning tickets go unclaimed when you keep reading stories like this.

      But he was one of the lucky ones who found it before it was thrown away or expired. So congrats to him for finding it and hopefully it does a lot of good for him and his family.

      I don't either, but next time I think I'll just throw them in the backseat and wait a week, ya never know.

      Congrats to the lucky guy.

      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

      For a lead role in a cage?

       

                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

        surimaribo24's avatar - photo11 zpsfffd70be.jpg
        NEW YORK. RIVERHEAD
        United States
        Member #106371
        February 17, 2011
        9702 Posts
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        Posted: September 5, 2014, 3:19 pm - IP Logged

        Massapequa  area stores has some lucky tickets . several other lotto winners around that area recently ...

        PETS#=105-215

          pickone4me's avatar - 021414tvlies zpsa453b327.jpg
          Wisconsin
          United States
          Member #104962
          January 23, 2011
          1075 Posts
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          Posted: September 5, 2014, 4:06 pm - IP Logged

            whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
            Nutley, New Jersey
            United States
            Member #131058
            August 1, 2012
            875 Posts
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            Posted: September 6, 2014, 12:11 pm - IP Logged

            let this be a lesson to everyone, treating your tickets like crap and ignoring them makes them more lucky.

            .

              hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

              United States
              Member #52345
              May 21, 2007
              2659 Posts
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              Posted: September 6, 2014, 2:18 pm - IP Logged

              let this be a lesson to everyone, treating your tickets like crap and ignoring them makes them more lucky.

                Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #80354
                September 25, 2009
                705 Posts
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                Posted: September 6, 2014, 4:04 pm - IP Logged

                Good for Jerry. Wanna bet he keeps his shop open for himself and his son. The high cost of living in Long Island NY  and having $2.9 before taxes is not enough to close up shop and retire.

                One NJ Pick six winner won a $6M jackpot and just expanded his business instead of retiring. Wink

                  grwurston's avatar - Cute animals_Spider.jpg
                  Winning makes me smile.
                  bel air maryland
                  United States
                  Member #90251
                  April 24, 2010
                  4872 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: September 6, 2014, 7:41 pm - IP Logged

                  I don't either, but next time I think I'll just throw them in the backseat and wait a week, ya never know.

                  Congrats to the lucky guy.

                  Don't want to do that, they might blow out the window... Talk about easy come, easy go!  See Ya!

                  Nice to see a L.I.'er win.

                  "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                  The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

                  Don't just think outside the box, crush it.

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    long island
                    Bahamas
                    Member #158939
                    September 7, 2014
                    20 Posts
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                    Posted: September 7, 2014, 10:32 pm - IP Logged

                    Don't want to do that, they might blow out the window... Talk about easy come, easy go!  See Ya!

                    Nice to see a L.I.'er win.

                    hey guys i m from the bahamas.... i m new in the game i wanna be a millionaire by 40!

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      long island
                      Bahamas
                      Member #158939
                      September 7, 2014
                      20 Posts
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                      Posted: September 7, 2014, 10:35 pm - IP Logged

                      Smile lucky fella..... wish it was me!

                        pickone4me's avatar - 021414tvlies zpsa453b327.jpg
                        Wisconsin
                        United States
                        Member #104962
                        January 23, 2011
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                        Posted: September 8, 2014, 1:36 pm - IP Logged

                        let this be a lesson to everyone, treating your tickets like crap and ignoring them makes them more lucky.

                        Indeed, I forgot to do that for my saturday megabucks ticketCrazy

                          grwurston's avatar - Cute animals_Spider.jpg
                          Winning makes me smile.
                          bel air maryland
                          United States
                          Member #90251
                          April 24, 2010
                          4872 Posts
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                          Posted: September 8, 2014, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

                          let this be a lesson to everyone, treating your tickets like crap and ignoring them makes them more lucky.

                          Just don't ignore them until after the expiration date to claim the winnings.  Thumbs Down

                          "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                          The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

                          Don't just think outside the box, crush it.

                            Get paid's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                            texas
                            United States
                            Member #152324
                            February 11, 2014
                            168 Posts
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                            Posted: September 9, 2014, 4:05 pm - IP Logged

                            I have a routine when it comes to checking my tickets. most of us know when the numbers are drawn.I check if Iam not a winner, I check again in the morning on the lottery web site. Then I ditch the ticket,an live for another dollar or two dollars an a dream. Good luck everyone.