MONTICELLO, N.Y. — An upstate New York county of 76,000 people has gotten its second $100 million-plus Mega Millions jackpot winner in three months.
Real estate agent Tammy Pratt of South Fallsburg in Sullivan County was introduced Wednesday as the sole winner of the $126 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn Feb. 27.
Pratt was between real estate appointments when she stopped for gas. She bought $4 worth of tickets instead of her usual $1 when she noticed the jackpot for the upcoming drawing had topped $100 million.
"I just had a feeling I should get more than one," said Pratt.
One of her Quick Pick tickets hit the jackpot.
"I ran to my husband and said, 'The person who won the lottery is from our town.' And then I said, 'I wonder where they bought their ticket.' So then I looked and saw it's where I bought my ticket and then I said, 'It's probably me,'" Pratt said.
She was only teasing, but then looked up the numbers online and realized it was no joke, Pratt said.
The odds of hitting that jackpot were 1 in 258 million, lottery officials said.
Pratt was calm, cool, and collected as she accepted her winnings. She said she never dreamed of this actually happening.
"I've never been really happy with what I've been doing, so it's just an added adventure," she said.
She chose the lump sum payment, and will net about $54 million after taxes.
"We're going to take some time to plan, we haven't really thought about buying things or anything like that, although, eventually I'll need a new car," Pratt said.
She is now on the waitlist for a new Tesla.
The South Fallsburgh Food Mart, located at 5105 Main St., will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.
In January, Harold Diamond, a retired school principal from Wurtsboro in Sullivan County was announced as the sole winner of a $326 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn in November.
"I don't know what's going on here in Sullivan County, but it's gotta be one of the luckiest places in New York State," Yolanda Vega, New York Lottery, said.
On Wednesday, a stream of hopefuls lined up to see if the local lotto luck can rub off on them.
"I am going to bank it. Share with my family. Share the wealth," Alphonso said.
Two locals said they go in on two tickets a week together. A win could be life changing.
"We would find things to do with it. Pay off debts, invest. We were just talking about what we could do, right?" Bernanrd Deutsch said.
"They actually fill out lotto at this table. I tell them, make sure you pick a winner because we take ten percent," Jack Ingber said.
The store owner said only 39 people purchased a Mega Millions ticket from the Foodmart the day Pratt played.
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