Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Yorker's $2.9 Million Passenger

An Auto shop owner from Long Island, New York, got the surprise of his life last week when he discovered a lottery ticket worth $2.9 million had sitting in his truck, gathering dust, for a month.

Massapequa resident, Jerry Ritieni, 47, purchased $20 worth of New York Lotto tickets on Saturday, July 19, 2014, popped them in the console of his truck and forgot about them.

Ritieni discovered the forgotten tickets when he was searching his truck for some lost keys.

Not wasting any time, Ritieni took the ticket into his office at Extreme Auto Body Repairs, went online, and began checking the numbers.

Speaking to The Post last Thursday, Ritieni said: "I was going through my numbers one by one, circling each number that matched up. It took a minute for me to comprehend that I just hit the jackpot. I was like, 'No way, no way! Holy s@#t!'"

The first person Ritieni told was his son, but the 17-year-old initially thought his father was pulling his leg.

As soon as he realized he was in earnest he accompanied him to the New York Lottery office in Plainview and when the two returned there could be no further doubts about the Auto shop owner's improved financial status. The look on his face said it all.

"That was a $3 million smile," Auto shop employee, Ryan Rivera recalled.

New York Lotto drawings are held on Wednesday's and Saturdays. The next drawing is on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. The estimated jackpot is $6.2 million.