Valley Stream woman wins $1M/year for life

Yuliya Lankri is all smiles after she won Yuliya Lankri is all smiles after she won $1,000,000 a year for life in the Year for Life scratch-off game from the New York Lottery, officials said. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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On the second day of Hanukkah, Gabriel Lankri of Valley Stream gave his wife, Yuliya, a $30 scratch-off Win $1,000,000 A Year For Life lottery ticket. She scratched and won $1 million a year for life -- or $661,800 a year after taxes.

The stay-at-home mother of three and 1991 emigrant from Russia, dressed head-to-toe in black, stepped forward Thursday to publicly claim her prize, but gave few hints of her plans, except to say she might vacation for a weekend in Paris with her husband.

Lankri, 37, gave brief replies to most questions, refused to say what her 46-year-old husband did for a living, and had to be coaxed by lottery officials to expand on her answers.

Asked her plans for the money by Gretchen Dizer of the New York Lottery, Lankri replied: "Nothing yet."

"Any ideas? On trips, maybe?" Dizer said.

"Maybe a trip," Lankri said.

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"OK! We got something!" Dizer declared.

Peppered with questions from reporters later, she said she didn't believe it when she first saw the winning ticket. "It was the second day of Hanukkah and he just bought me a ticket. It was a gift," she said. "I didn't believe it."

Lankri was one of several lottery winners from Long Island who were introduced publicly Thursday at the lottery's claims office in Garden City.

The other winners included:

Bernett Shaw, 54, a retired correction officer from Central Islip who won at least $2 million on the Money For Life $5 scratch-off game.

Dominick Morana, 45, a moving and storage manager from Massapequa, and his wife, Diana, 43, who won $5 million on a $10 Set For Life scratch-off game. Morana said his godparents, John and Kathy Gillen of Staten Island, won a $72 million Mega Millions jackpot last April. "They taught me how to win," he said.

Win for life winners are guaranteed annual payments for life, and their heirs get any unpaid money if they die before 20 years is up.

Former Merrick residents Joseph and Gloria Bianco, both 80 and living in Florida, won $1 million on the Golden Opportunity $5 scratch-off game. They will split the winnings with a net annual payout of $16,545 each per year through 2031.

Joseph Bianco said his late father appeared to him in a dream, "and told me he had the golden opportunity. When I went in the store I saw the [lottery's] Golden Opportunity and I bought three tickets."

Asked his plans, Joseph Bianco said: "Have a good time." His wife added: "We're going to be 100. You think we're going to live that long?"

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Five people who work in a Wantagh office building will share a onetime payment of $1 million from a Powerball Power Play ticket they purchased together. They are: Ronelle Devine, 50, of Bohemia; Joann Malec, 69, of Deer Park; Lillian Katz, 41, of West Islip; Lisa DeMase, 54, of Massapequa; and Laurie Kentner, 45, of Levittown.

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