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N.J. woman claims state's biggest-ever scratch-off jackpot

New Jersey LotteryNew Jersey Lottery: N.J. woman claims state's biggest-ever scratch-off jackpot
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'Still in complete shock'

LINDEN, N.J. — Lacey Katona cut short the event announcing her $5 million lottery prize this morning, calling for an end to questions on how she'd spend her windfall so that she could get to her job as a retail manager.

Katona is the first person to win $5 million, the largest prize offered, on a New Jersey Lottery instant ticket, a reality she said hasn't quite sunk in yet.

"My family just feels truly blessed," she said, standing outside the Krauszer's Food Mart where she bought her winning ticket. "I feel truly blessed. I'm still in complete shock. It doesn't feel real at all, because we all know that this stuff doesn't happen to normal people."

Lottery officials today presented Katona with an oversized check representing her winnings, one of three top prizes on the new $5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza scratch ticket game.

The $30 instant ticket was launched Jan. 5, with an extra $179 million available to smaller-scale winners, in addition the three $5 million prizes.

"We are thrilled to offer an instant game with a life-changing top prize to our New Jersey players," said Carole Hedinger, executive director of the New Jersey Lottery. "Instantly, as this game category implies, with the scratch of a card, someone's life can dramatically change and bring a world of opportunity that financial freedom often brings."

Katona, a city resident, hasn't planned any dramatic changes just yet. The mother of three said her kids don't know about the prize, since they're too young to understand.

She intends to keep her job and hasn't figured out at this point how she'll spend the money.

"It literally hasn't sunk in yet," she said.

The ticket was also lucky for store owner Apexaben Patel, who receives a $30,000 commission bonus for selling a winner.

Her Krauszer's Food Mart at 1114 South Wood Avenue has been selling New Jersey Lottery products for around 5 years.

Patel accepted the commission check with her husband Amusik, their daughter Prisha and Amusik's cousin Nick, the store manager. Amusik Patel called 5-month-old Prisha the family's "lucky charm."

This is the store's largest lottery prize, though it's sold tickets worth thousands of dollars before, the Patels said.

"This is a lucky store in Linden, and hopefully we're going to sell more, more big winners," Nick Patel said.

He said the family will put the $30,000 commission toward expanding their business with a new store.

"We're planning to open a new business in another area, and I would like to see us sell a big winner there, too," he said, with a laugh.

The Patels said they were happy to see the $5 million go to a regular customer. Katona said she regularly stops in on her way to work, sometimes buying instant lottery tickets for her father, a frequent player.

"I see him do it so often that it gets encouraging after a while," Katona said.

The winning ticket was the first of the $30 instant variety she'd bought, and she said she had her father go back to the store to "check it out" when she scratched off a $5 million prize.

Nick Patel said he couldn't believe it when the winning ticket came in.

"I screamed, like 'Oh my god, we got a big winner,'" he said. "It's good for her, good for her kids."

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

NJ

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41 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by BellasBMWLucki.
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ErikB14's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
New Member
Clifton NJ
United States
Member #164641
March 9, 2015
14 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 9, 2015, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

Congrats to Miss katona and the lucky Krauzer retail store.

    hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

    United States
    Member #52345
    May 21, 2007
    2657 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 9, 2015, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

    Cheers

      maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
      Massachusetts
      United States
      Member #37433
      April 14, 2006
      2747 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 9, 2015, 6:32 pm - IP Logged

      Congrats Ms Katona, you just sprung forward by millions of dollars. That's really nice.

      About those $30 tickets. I'm still not that brave but I'll spend that on the $2 tickets. Go figure.

      That money's gone fo ever

        ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
        Idaho
        United States
        Member #56506
        November 21, 2007
        6537 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 9, 2015, 6:41 pm - IP Logged

        Congratulation on your big win, Lacey Katona! That really is a nice prize for a scratch off ticket.

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

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #163996
          February 15, 2015
          68 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 9, 2015, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

          Congrats Ms Katona, you just sprung forward by millions of dollars. That's really nice.

          About those $30 tickets. I'm still not that brave but I'll spend that on the $2 tickets. Go figure.

          I'd have to win MegaMillions/Powerball before I'd be willing to spend $30 on a ticket. Until then, $5 scratchers are my limit.   Coffee

            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

            United States
            Member #72448
            March 18, 2009
            1228 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 9, 2015, 7:20 pm - IP Logged

            Congratulations Lacey Katona. 

            I wonder if Lacey will be receiving this as a $5M annuity, or receiving it as a lesser 1-time cash lump-sum payout? 

            If as a lump-sum, does any member know amount before all taxes deducted?

            Cheers!

            Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

            Disney

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              Ringleader
              Michigan
              United States
              Member #81740
              October 28, 2009
              40394 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 9, 2015, 7:35 pm - IP Logged

              Congrats Lacey, enjoy.

              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"

                JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                melbourne , florida
                United States
                Member #121140
                January 3, 2012
                181 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 9, 2015, 8:47 pm - IP Logged

                Oh no another Patel run b4 he claims half.Sad Cheers

                  maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                  Massachusetts
                  United States
                  Member #37433
                  April 14, 2006
                  2747 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 9, 2015, 8:59 pm - IP Logged

                  I'd have to win MegaMillions/Powerball before I'd be willing to spend $30 on a ticket. Until then, $5 scratchers are my limit.   Coffee

                  I hear you. Not when a case of 24 Corona Extra beers cost $24. I got priorities LOL

                  That money's gone fo ever

                    noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                    Bay Area - California
                    United States
                    Member #136477
                    December 12, 2012
                    4106 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 9, 2015, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

                    Party To Lacey...

                     

                    l wonder why they did not post a picture of the Patels?

                    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                      dpoly1's avatar - driver
                      PA
                      United States
                      Member #66141
                      October 16, 2008
                      1672 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 9, 2015, 10:19 pm - IP Logged

                      Dance

                      Nice win ............ but just wait until New Jersey confiscates their "fair share"

                      dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                       

                      Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                        pickone4me's avatar - 021414tvlies zpsa453b327.jpg
                        Wisconsin
                        United States
                        Member #104962
                        January 23, 2011
                        1075 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 9, 2015, 10:52 pm - IP Logged

                        "She intends to keep her job and hasn't figured out at this point how she'll spend the money." 

                        She will definitely need to keep working to cover for the large obamacare fine,  or massive health insurance rate hike.

                        Trump 2016!

                          golfer1960's avatar - Lottery-003.jpg
                          Eatontown, NJ
                          United States
                          Member #119670
                          November 29, 2011
                          740 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 10, 2015, 12:09 am - IP Logged

                          Congratulations Lacey Katona. 

                          I wonder if Lacey will be receiving this as a $5M annuity, or receiving it as a lesser 1-time cash lump-sum payout? 

                          If as a lump-sum, does any member know amount before all taxes deducted?

                          Cheers!

                          Hey Baller, I have one of those tickets here in my formerly nicotine stained fingers (Rush). On the back it says that you could choose the cash option of $3,625,000 before taxes.

                           

                          lottery ticket

                            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                            United States
                            Member #72448
                            March 18, 2009
                            1228 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 10, 2015, 1:52 am - IP Logged

                            Hey Baller, I have one of those tickets here in my formerly nicotine stained fingers (Rush). On the back it says that you could choose the cash option of $3,625,000 before taxes.

                             

                            lottery ticket

                            Thanks, golfer1960, for your rapid response!  I'm so glad you had an old ticket to pull the information off of. See Ya!

                            Hum, if she takes the cash option of apx. $1.7M after several taxes each coming at different times -- or even the 30-years or so annuity -- it is probably best for her to keep her full-time career until her 60s.

                            Group Hug

                            Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                            Disney