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.
(Click to display full-size in gallery)