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Uniondale Woman Hits Jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Uniondale Woman Hits Jackpot

This is Henrietta Henderson's reaction to winning $34 million in the Mega Millions drawing:

"I didn't really have a reaction."

The 71-year-old single mother of five from Uniondale was handed a check Tuesday morning for holding the ticket with the six winning numbers in the July 11 jackpot. Henderson stoically accepted a lump sum of $20.6 million in front of the Quick Pick Deli in Uniondale, where the winning ticket was purchased for $1.

These are her plans for her share of the cash: none.

The first thing she did after fending off a swarm of media and onlookers Tuesday morning? Eat breakfast.

Then the tight-lipped Henderson said she planned to play the lottery again. Tuesday night.

The Henderson clan each had a hand in picking the winning digits: 1, 4, 10, 16, 18 and Mega Ball 10. Their $5 to $10 weekly habit finally beat a 1 in 135,145,920 chance of winning. She and children don't know how they'll split the jackpot or what they'll do with it, aside from college tuition for the grandchildren.

Uniondale residents were in amazement as they loped through the crowded aisle of Quick Pick Deli, where bacon egg sandwiches sizzled on a hot griddle and the air rang with Dominican accents.

"Somebody's moving out of the 'hood," one customer muttered as he ducked out of the red brick corner deli.

But Henrietta Henderson, who hails from North Carolina, said she's staying put. Things won't change, she said. And there are no worries big bucks will yield big problems, she added.

"Things haven't really changed," said her son, Eugene Henderson, 49, of Uniondale. "We're still the same people."

Henrietta Henderson meets questions head-on with quietude while deflecting anything too probing. She is retired. Don't ask what from. She spends her spare time with her four surviving children and 10 grandchildren. She moved to Long Island 30 years ago "because I wanted to see new places."

Will she give to charity?

Not sure yet.

Henderson's gold mine proved to be a payoff for deli owner Raphael Rodriguez. The Freeport resident, 42, was given a bonus check for $10,000 as part of a retailer appreciation program.

"It's OK, you know," said Rodriguez regarding his cash prize as he shuffled about in a bone-white uniform spattered with grease and took orders during the lunch-hour rush.

What now?

"Same thing," said the father of two. "I've got to continue work."

Maybe he'll buy a new sign for the deli he's owned for five years, Rodriguez said. Nothing else.

The Hendersons are playing it cool as well. So Henrietta Henderson stood poised in a caramel skirt that reached toward her ankles and donned a light brown floral-print shirt accentuated by gold hoop earrings and a shock of curly locks that verged on tangerine.

What went through her mind when she won?

"Nothing ... "


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2 comments. Last comment 14 years ago by visiondude.
Page 1 of 1
United States
Member #1610
June 3, 2003
668 Posts
Posted: August 23, 2003, 12:08 pm - IP Logged

What a beautiful set of numbers 1,4,10,16,18...10, and not one of the numbers being over 31, thus testing the 'calendar rule' of always including at least one number over 31 to reduce the chances of sharing the prize. 'since many people play calendar dates'

I always have to keep reminding myself, as I choose my numbers, that the red 'Mega Ball or Power Ball' number can, and fairly often is, the same as one of the five white numbers. Easy to overlook. In this case it made all the difference :)

... the lottery never fails to surprise!
    visiondude's avatar - eye3logo
    light on my feet
    United States
    Member #356
    May 20, 2002
    2744 Posts
    Posted: August 23, 2003, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

    she hand picked her numbers

                "i am .........."meant to"       

    P.S.,  that RJoH  is a stand up guy.  thanks,  vision

             until further notice,  it's  france everyday