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Man buys wrong lottery ticket, wins $169 million

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Man buys wrong lottery ticket, wins $169 million

Her husband didn't listen — and it paid off to the tune of $169 million.

Mega Millions winner Nancy Viola asked her husband, Vito Viola — an NYPD sergeant — to buy Powerball tickets from the 2520 Foodmart in the Willowbrook section of Staten Island on Jan. 8. She had the Powerball fever that was gripping the country.

"Because the jackpot was $900 million," she said. "It was big. It was all everybody was talking about. He didn't listen."

Instead, her husband used a leftover dollar to buy a Quick Pick for the Mega Millions — 11, 39, 51, 57, and 75, with Mega Ball 2.

"That was a good thing," a beaming Viola said Thursday as she stood next to a giant check.

The following day, the Staten Island homemaker heard the winning ticket had been bought from the same location.

So she checked her ticket.

"I started with the Mega ball," she remembered. "I checked all the other numbers. They all matched, and can you imagine what that was like? I thought I was having a heart attack. There was a little screaming."

The couple kept the news quiet for months.

"We didn't tell anybody. We kept it a secret," she said. "It was difficult, but it's exciting now."

Viola and her husband — who joined the NYPD in 2005 and works out of the 120th Precinct — assembled a financial team and claimed the ticket on March 10. They chose to receive the prize as a one-time lump sum payment of $64,796,160.

Both 37, the couple hasn't made any big purchases yet. But Vito Viola has already put in for retirement.

"Lucky him," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at an unrelated press conference.

In Staten Island, Viola ducked questions about her personal life or how the family plans to spend the big win. She said they set up a foundation called The Orbity Fund LLC to cash the check.

"It's just absolutely amazing," she said. "It's just a blessing."

It is not the first time good fortune shone on her husband. In 2007 he helped deliver a baby in a Bay Ridge apartment. "We're trained in basic life saving techniques," Vito Viola told the Brooklyn Paper at the time. "But we're not certified to deliver a baby that's for sure."

As for the lottery win, the family was still coming to terms with the sudden wealth. "We want to let it all sink in," Nancy Viola said. "Anything is possible. Maybe a convertible. Everything is so new still. It has to just settle in, you know, see what happens. Buy a big house? Maybe in the future. It's a lot of money."

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

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

Daily News, Lottery Post Staff

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65 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by golfer1960.
Page 1 of 5
United States
Member #153806
March 26, 2014
345 Posts
Posted: July 1, 2016, 6:42 pm - IP Logged

That's awesome for them.  Seems like they are planning to use the money responsibly.  I'd be happy with $1M.


    United States
    Member #170707
    December 13, 2015
    185 Posts
    Posted: July 1, 2016, 6:52 pm - IP Logged

    they took a long time to claim

      music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
      Happy California
      United States
      Member #157856
      August 2, 2014
      1522 Posts
      Posted: July 1, 2016, 7:04 pm - IP Logged

      Congratulations to the Lucky couple. Spend and invest wisely.Party

       I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

       Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

        golfer1960's avatar - Lottery-003.jpg
        Eatontown, NJ
        United States
        Member #119670
        November 29, 2011
        740 Posts
        Posted: July 1, 2016, 7:44 pm - IP Logged

        If they claimed the ticket on March 10th, why is this story only hitting Lottery Post on July 1st?



          United States
          Member #169911
          November 6, 2015
          57 Posts
          Posted: July 1, 2016, 7:54 pm - IP Logged

          All it took was $1 quick pick ticket.  Very lucky and congrats to them.

            United States
            Member #171219
            January 3, 2016
            99 Posts
            Posted: July 1, 2016, 7:55 pm - IP Logged

            Huge congrats to the winners. Par-tay!!!!






            That is the mysterious MM claimed, now where is that Chino Hills PB winner?

              Kingofearth's avatar - Kinnak
              Upstate NY
              United States
              Member #174656
              May 5, 2016
              766 Posts
              Posted: July 1, 2016, 8:23 pm - IP Logged

              they took a long time to claim

              They claimed it 2 months after the drawing...... It just hasn't hit the news until yesterday.

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
                Member #30470
                January 17, 2006
                10353 Posts
                Posted: July 1, 2016, 8:32 pm - IP Logged

                Good for them.

                Any one still deny Luck?


                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.


                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.


                  United States
                  Member #171241
                  January 4, 2016
                  75 Posts
                  Posted: July 1, 2016, 8:43 pm - IP Logged

                  Congrates to this couple. Love stories like this, just proves it don't matter what system or routine you use, it's all about the luck of the draw.

                    ekem6078's avatar - winter
                    United States
                    Member #88776
                    March 23, 2010
                    2205 Posts
                    Posted: July 1, 2016, 9:04 pm - IP Logged

                    Wow, that was nothing but a blessing.  Spend it wisely like helping  others that need help, like meeeeee  lol.  Just kidding.  Congrads to the lucky couple.

                      Dd2160's avatar - hiro dolphin.jpg
                      Allentown, Brookyn, Pa, Ny
                      United States
                      Member #134253
                      October 22, 2012
                      5498 Posts
                      Posted: July 1, 2016, 10:37 pm - IP Logged

                      WOW that's really nice!!


                        Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
                        Republic of Texas
                        United States
                        Member #57557
                        January 9, 2008
                        1095 Posts
                        Posted: July 1, 2016, 10:41 pm - IP Logged

                        It was meant to be. Congrats to the Viola family!



                          TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                          Brooklyn, NY
                          United States
                          Member #169723
                          October 29, 2015
                          879 Posts
                          Posted: July 1, 2016, 10:48 pm - IP Logged

                          I don't think he "bought the wrong ticket"

                          His wife called and said get a few PowerBall tickets...He takes out a $5 bill and buys 2 tickets @ $2 each and has $1 left over. He says...Give me ONE MEGA since that $169 mil jackpot wasn't too shabby. They win with the 1 ticket!

                          It wasn't the WRONG ticket, it was most definitely the RIGHT ticket!


                          The Meatman

                          “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

                          Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

                            United States
                            Member #172415
                            January 23, 2016
                            3795 Posts
                            Posted: July 2, 2016, 1:19 am - IP Logged

                            What's the date and Time this ticket was bought ?? I can't see properly