Clerk Gives Woman The Wrong Lotto Ticket, She Wins $5 Million

A New Jersey woman is grateful that a store clerk gave her a different lottery ticket than the one she requested during a recent shopping trip in Manhattan.

The Huffington Post reported that Oksana Zaharov of Edgewater decided to try her luck with New York’s lottery system while she was in the state. She asked a man working at the Trisha convenience store on Dyckman Street to sell her a scratch-off ticket for $1.

The employee apparently misunderstood the request, because he instead presented Zaharov with a “Set For Life” ticket that cost $10.

“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket, I felt bad, so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” the 46-year-old mother of two recalled, according to a news release from the New York Lottery.

“I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.” That is the moment that Zaharov’s life changed forever.

At first, the woman thought there must have been some kind of mistake, but soon realized that she might never again need to worry about having enough money. HuffPost pointed out that with the $5 million Zaharov is to receive, she should have no trouble maintaining a healthy supply of bookmarks.

“I never win anything,” Zaharov told lottery officials.

“I was sure the ticket was fake. It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.”

She said that she wants to share her good fortune with her family by taking them on a vacation to the Bahamas.

She also plans to save some of the money to send her kids to college. “They will have a loan-free college education,” the mother said.

The $5 million prize is the largest payoff that a purchaser can win in the “Set For Life” game. The New York Lottery announced that in each of the next 19 years, Zaharov will get annual payments of $260,000, which will amount to $172,068 after state officials assess taxes.

In the 20th year, she is to receive a check for $60,000, which will leave $39,708 after taxes. Thereafter, the net payments will be $172,068 per year until Zaharov dies.

She became the 88th person in 2017 to win a million dollars or more in the New York Lottery, which claims to be “North America’s largest and most profitable lottery.”

Donald Savastano, a 51-year-old carpenter, was the 87th millionaire of the year. “I couldn’t believe it!” he said about his “Merry Millionaire” ticket.

“I brought it back in (to the store) and scanned it under the ticket checker, and knew it was a winner. I kept it under wraps over the weekend, but I did take it out a few times to convince myself it was real.”

The lottery provided $3.27 billion in the fiscal year of 2016-17 to support public education in New York, which represents 14 percent of the funding that local school districts get from the state. Officials explained:

“New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district’s size and its income level."

"Larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of lottery school funding.”

Source: HuffPost
Photo: NY Lottery/NYS Gaming Commission, YouTube

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