Allen Balzarano was preparing for his golden wedding anniversary, and he wound up with a golden ticket -- in the form of a $1 million lottery winner.
Balzarano, 73, of Port Jefferson Station, was one of six Long Islanders who collected ceremonial lottery checks Friday, to the total tune of $7 million, according to a release from the New York Lottery.
Balzarano was at CarryAll Wine & Liquor on Nesconset Highway, Mount Sinai, last month to pick up wine and champagne for his and his wife Dolores' upcoming 50th wedding anniversary, the lottery said. He also bought a $2 Powerball Quick Pick ticket, which in the May 18 drawing made him a second-prize winner.
"Our anniversary isn't for another few months, but we've been celebrating all year," said Balzarano, a retired heavy equipment operator, who'll receive a net check for $661,800, the release said.
Samuel Clemons, 40, of West Hempstead, is the first top winner in the new Three Million scratchoff game, the lottery said.
On his way to work June 6, the Nassau County Department of Public Works employee stopped for coffee at the 7-Eleven on Jerusalem Avenue, Bellmore, according to the release. A regular player of the Set For Life scratchoff, he said in the release that he thought -- with the Three Million game just two days old -- "what the heck," and went for it.
He opted to take the $2,520,000 lump sum -- with a net amount of $1,667,736 -- which he said will "help me out a little."
Pamela Dyber, 56, of Centereach, won a $1 million top prize on the New York Gold scratchoff. She bought her ticket at BJ's Wholesale Club, on Old Nichols Road, Hauppauge, according to the lottery.
A nurse at a psychiatric center, she said that she went numb and hid the ticket in her kitchen cabinet until claiming the prize on May 31, the release said.
She said that she'll use her winnings -- a net $555,912 after withholdings -- to help with a move to Florida.
Patricia Turchiano, 62, of East Moriches, is taking home a $1 million second prize from the May 15 Powerball drawing, according to the lottery.
"There was a lot of screaming and a lot of hugging," she said when a co-worker at Southampton Town Hall read off the winning numbers.
The ticket was purchased at Southampton Stationery, Hampton Road, Southampton, the lottery said. "I asked a co-worker to pick up a ticket for me when she went out to get one for herself," Turchiano said in the release.
"I've been thinking about moving back to Maine where I grew up," she said in the release. "It'll just make life a lot easier," Turchiano said of her lump sum of $661,800, after withholdings.
Herb Mazzola and his wife, Mary Jane, of Massapequa Park, will split a $1 million Powerball second prize from the May 15 drawing. Each will receive $330,900 after withholdings.