It's said God works in mysterious ways, and never has deli owner Yoseph Lee, 60, been as sure of that as he was this week.
After months of praying daily for divine intervention to bring some money to the religious college he leads, Lee, who also is a Baptist pastor, instead sold a winning lottery ticket to someone else Saturday. The sale, at Lee's 100 Natural Farm deli on Crisfield Road, earned another Yonkers man $17 million and brought Lee just 6 cents, his profit from selling one $1 New York Lotto slip.
The twist? Lee said the winner was so grateful, he is considering donating a cut of his proceeds to Lee's school, the Global Leaders University and Seminary, which has classes in San Diego; Flushing, Queens; Louisiana and Germany, and trains Korean students to become Christian pastors.
"I prayed a long time for a donation to this school," Lee said yesterday, "and now, I think the Lord gave me a blessing."
Lee and his wife, Min Ja Yun Lee, 51, said they believe their store is lucky, in part because the business name the couple registered with the state is Great Grace Supermarket, a religious name that is similar to that of the Nyack church where Yoseph Lee is a pastor.
Of the winner, the Lees, who live in Yonkers, would say only that he is a neighbor of theirs, a humble man who has played the lottery almost daily since their store began selling Lotto tickets about four months ago. They said they were unsure what he planned to do with the rest of his winnings, but Yoseph Lee said he hoped the man also would donate money to community efforts in Yonkers.
"Only our Lord knows," Lee said, pointing up as he sat in the back of his store.