Lottery Scope

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A Bronx player has won a very large New York Lotto jackpot – a prize of $19 million!  The gleeful winner is Linda Holley, 59 years old, who recently retired from her job as an executive assistant.   “It will give me the opportunity to enjoy my retirement,” she explained.  “My husband, daughter and I will make the most of it.”

While Mrs. Holley resides in the Bronx, she purchased her winning ticket in Manhattan.  She described herself as a “regular player” of the lottery.  The winner waited a while before claiming her big prize from a drawing held in late May.  Like most big winners, she opted for the lump-sum payoff instead of the annuity over 25 years.  Mrs. Holley received a check for $10,120,000, minus tax withholding.

Ten million dollars in lump sum is a marvelous prize and I hope and trust the Holley family will make a good life for themselves over the years.  

I’ve also encountered an odd story about a Queens man who won the biggest Lotto jackpot in NY Lotto history but he had to wait a year to claim his staggering jackpot of $65 million!  A little over a year ago,  Degli Martinez, purchased the winning ticket in the game drawn on June 30, 2007.  The following week, the winner returned to the store where he purchased his ticket and tried to claim his prize.  Somehow in the exchange with the store clerk, the ticket was lost.

Fortunately for Mr. Martinez,  the lottery was able to verify through computer records and a visual inspection of the prize receipt that he had bought the winning ticket.  However, since the original ticket had disappeared, he agreed to wait a year to ensure no one else was going to come forward to claim the prize money.  

He must be a very patient man.  Anyway,  he has now collected a one-time payoff of $31,830,000, minus taxes.  Mr. Martinez is 55 years old, married with one daughter.  He will use some of the winnings for his daughter’s college tuition, he said, and “to take care of my wife.  Simple wishes for a simple life.”  Sounds like the Martinez family will not be overwhelmed by their good fortune.

We took a little vacation in northeast Pennsylvania in July.  It was an opportunity to go to a Yankees baseball game – the Scranton Yankees, that is.  My wife and I saw a double-header for a mere $10 per ticket.   The Yankees triple-A team plays in a modern stadium seating about 12,000 people.  Many  players on the Scranton roster are top-notch and some are called up to the Bronx Bombers as the season progresses.

Since the Wednesday game had been rained out, we saw a twi-night double-header on Thursday evening.  The Yankees lost the opener, 6 to 3, but came back to take the second game, 4-1, on the strength of a three-run homer in the final inning.  

I tried my hand at Powerball and a few Pennsylvania Lottery scratch-off tickets, too.  We managed to hit for $3 in Powerball and nabbed a “free ticket” prize, too.  I also learned that casino gambling has started up in the region.  The Mohegan Sun casino has opened a branch office, so to speak, in the vicinity of Wilkes-Barre – about 20 miles west of Scranton.  There’s also a new casino in Mt. Airy in the Poconos,  in the same general area.

We visited a small museum where we learned of the history of Scranton – it was a center of both coal mining and iron mining for many years.  There’s also the National Steamtown Railroad Museum displaying scores of marvelous old steam engines and an up-to-date museum with artifacts from the early 1900s, along with the story of the early railroads.  

All in all it was a pleasant nine-day sojourn.  Eastern Pennsylvania is an attractive  locale, especially if one likes baseball, museums and the chance to meet some people who live a calmer life than we are used to in the Bronx, New York.

Updated 5:30 pm, October 21, 2011
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