Thursday, September 18, 2014, was a big day for, Fillmore resident, Ray Salada. It was the day he and his wife Donna were presented with an oversized New York Lottery check for $7.5 million.
Salada, who owns Perry’s Used Auto Sales & Service in Perry, was driving home from work on August 13, 2014, when he got the urge to stop off at a convenience store and buy a lottery ticket.
"It’s just an occasional thing with me," Salada explained to New York Lottery officials.
Salada took a look at the tickets available and chose a $25 "Silver Spectacular" scratch-off ticket because he thought the game produced a lot of winners, never realizing that he was about to become the latest big winner himself.
He scratched off the tickets top coating while he was still in the store and immediately realized he'd made the right choice.
"I knew I had a winner, but I didn’t know for how much," Salada said.
When he ran the ticket through the self-checker the screen said "Big Winner" and it was only then that he did a little extra scratching on his ticket to discover the true extent of his win.
"He came home real excited—I actually thought something was wrong," Donna Salada recalled. "Then he said he won a jackpot and our lives were going to change."
Salada opted to take his prize as a one-off, lump-sum payment of $4.96 million, after taxes.
Pan Patel, who manages the store that sold the winning ticket, said: "I’m very happy for him. He stops in here three or four times a week, and he’s a good guy."