Instant Millionaires in the Southern Tier
1/25/2013 (Updated 7:00:35 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
NICHOLS -- On Friday the New York Lottery's Gretchen Dizer presented $3,000,000 in prize money to lotto players in the Southern Tier at Tioga Downs.
Sally Richards from Spencer was running errands on New Year's Eve when she decided to buy a 5-dollar 20X The Bucks scratch off.
Richards said the first two times she tried to buy the ticket, the machine was broken, but the third try was the charm.
"I scratched (the ticket off) in the car, and I thought you guys were pulling a trick on me," said Richards.
But it was no trick. Little did she know, Richards bought New York's first 1-million dollar winning lottery ticket of 2013.
"We'll I kept repeating jackpot, one million dollars, jackpot, I thought, I think I'm an instant millionaire!" said Richards.
Richards said she plans on doing some shopping with her winnings including buying a new laptop computer.
A Trumansburg family also became instant millionaires from the Holiday Magic scratch-off Nancy Burston bought for her family as sucking stuffers. Burston usually only buys 12 lotto scratch-offs, three for each person, but this year she decided to buy a few extra, which certainly paid off.
"We would split our big winnings of maybe $10 and $15. So we were a little shocked to see the million, and I sort of just by reflex just said, 'Ok we split it four ways' so that kind if ended the discussion on how to split it. Whether that's right or wrong, that's how we did it," said Burston.
The million dollars will be split four ways between Burston, Terry Clingen, Marissa Clingen, and Alexander Goddard.
"It takes you a while for it to sink in. You have to have somebody else tell you that you won," said Terry Clingen.
Burston said her and her family will use the money to pay off graduate school loans, mortgage loans, and travel.
And, who wouldn't want to win the prize of a lifetime!? Abel Mallouk and Amy Bush of Horseheads won just that, literally.
They won $1,000 a week for life, guaranteeing them a minimum 1-million dollars!
"Couldn't believe it! My heart was pounding. I didn't know of it were true or not," said Mallouk.
Mallouk and Bush said the plan on traveling all over, but Costa Rica first.
So how do you become instant millionaires?
"Just keep trying. Eventually you get surprised," said Clingen.
Its just like the slogan says, all you need is a dollar and a dream.
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