Two men from Jamaica, New York who moved to the United States in search of the American dream have found both success and luck, after winning a combined $19 million in lottery prizes this month.
Yesterday, they gleefully recounted their experiences when they were announced as the winners at a news conference in White Plains at Martine Fruit Farm, the store where one of the tickets was sold.
"I threw my hands in the air and said, 'Thank you, Jehovah,'" said Radcliffe "Rocky" Drummond of Yonkers, the sole winner of the $17 million Lotto jackpot on Oct. 2.
Drummond, a 50-year-old electronics technician, moved to the United States 14 years ago. The other winner, Roy Campbell of White Plains, who won $2 million, left Jamaica in 1976.
Drummond said he plans to celebrate by marrying his life partner and mother of his four children, and that he wants to buy a house. He plans to leave his job and start his own business.
But first, he said, he needs a reliable ride. "I have an old Chevy Lumina which I'm going to get rid of," he said.
Drummond, who plays Lotto whenever there is a large jackpot, will take his winnings in a lump sum amounting to around $9 million, instead of receiving smaller annual payments. The winning numbers on his ticket 2, 40, 42, 52, 54 and 57 were picked at random using the Quick Pick option at Great Grace Supermarket on Crisfield Street in Yonkers.
Campbell, 53, a security guard, won the top prize of $2 million playing the Bonanza instant scratch-off game. Campbell is a devoted fan of the lottery and spends about $200 to $300 a week trying his luck on a variety of games.
He would get excited, he said, even if he won just $10. "I would always scream, 'Oh, no' when I won," said Campbell, who bought the ticket at Martine Fruit Farm.
When he won the $2 million on Oct. 16, Campbell said, "I had to take off my glasses to make sure it was real, but I was calm and I went back to work."
Now, he said, his luck is changing through and through. The same week that he won the jackpot, he received a letter from the federal government informing him that his wife and four daughters would be able to immigrate to the United States.
"I'm going to buy a decent house for my family and clear up some of my credit card bills," said Campbell, who added he will continue to work as a security guard.