Yesterday was a Halloween that eight New Yorkers will never forget. That's because yesterday was the day they were given their oversize checks from the New York State Lottery. All in all winners from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Long Island took home a collective $23.5 million (before taxes) from the Lottery event at the Abracadabra midtown store. And, as you hope for in a lotto tale, the biggest winner had the biggest "aw" story.
Gina Ruisi, a stay-at-home mom from the Bronx, has been playing the same Lotto numbers for years. But last month she shook it up and played the birthdays of her kids and her dad. On October 5th all of her numbers (3, 5, 11, 12, 17, and 27) were picked, entitling her to $9.5 million. After taking it in a lump sum, after taxes she should get just over $4 million. "It feels great to win. Now I can take care of my family and my children. The numbers mean the most to me, it's my dad and his grandchildren, and it's just a miracle and a dream come true," she said.
As for the other winners, they seemed pretty stoked too. "I’m going to take my wife on a trip. I don’t know where yet, maybe Hawaii or a Bahamas cruise," 51-year-old Clayton Wint of Brooklyn said. He won $1 million from a New York Poker scratch-off last month. And then there was Salvatore Salvatore, 71, who won $3 million with his wife Patricia after she told him to get out of the house. "I thought a trip to the store would help him pass the time while it was raining," she recalled. Guess you really never do know?