By MICHELLE MARUS
Salvatore Gandolfo, 55, of Staten Island was having trouble sleeping one morning and bought a scratch off lottery ticket to pass the time.
On Tuesday his insomnia earned him an out-sized check for $7,500,000.
Gandolfo was one of the five lucky winners to whom New York Lottery representatives Gretchen Dizer and Jenny Garcia present ceremonial prize checks totaling $11,500,000. The prizes came from a mix of scratch-off and lottery draw games. The winners received their checks at the Lottery’s Office in Harlem.
“I woke up, had some breakfast, got in my car and just drove to the store,” recalled Gandolfo who now only scratches tickets but is still scratching himself. “I buy that game a lot and was shocked when I realized I won.”
Discussing plans for spending the money, Gandolfo teared up. He said he might travel to Sicily and help out his family. “I’m a simple man.”
Susanne Miller, 39, of Brooklyn won a $1 million prize on the 7/11/21 scratch-off ticket. She said she would invest and put money into her children’s college funds.
Playing the lottery is somewhat of a tradition in the Miller family.
“My brother and I always take turns buying scratch-off tickets,” she said. “He bought this particular ticket and gave it to me.”
Mega Millions Quick Pick winner Michael Palmer, 28, of Brooklyn also won $1 million.
“I originally went to the store to buy an iced tea but noticed the Mega Millions sign and told the guy behind the counter to give me a ticket,” he said nonchalantly.
Daniel “John” Laden of Manhattan was at the store buying some items after a job before heading home. Among those items was a ticket got the Million Dollar Scratch ticket in which he won the top prize. nike cortez Laden said he would use the money to buy a new house.
“I didn’t scratch it right away,” he recalled. “I took a shower and sat down and I scratched it. My stomach dropped and I just couldn’t believe it.”
The final check was given to a group of five representing a larger group of 36 co-workers from Bloomberg LP in Manhattan. They call themselves “Tech Ops 36.”
The group started a New York Lottery office pool about three years ago but this time the outcome earned them their first million dollar win on the 7 Mega Millions.
Plans for the winnings include: kitchen remodeling, safari trip, Disney vacation, investments and more.
As winner Michael Palmer said, “You have to be in it to win it.”