LI's Powerball winner -- minus $586 million

Philip Cimino, of Garden City Park, who won a $33 million Mega Millions prize, and Joel Ditkowsky, of Commack, who chalked up a $1 million prize in Wednesday's Powerball game, talk about how it feels to win big at a state lottery news conference. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (Nov. 29, 2012)

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The big Powerball money -- a record $587 million -- may be going to people who bought tickets in Arizona and Missouri, but a Long Island man is getting at least a small slice of the pie.

Joel Ditkowsky of Commack claimed his $1 million Powerball prize, for matching five numbers, at the state lottery office in Garden City yesterday.

Ditkowsky is a regular customer of a Commack convenience store, where he Thursday morning to check how he did, store owner Aslam Qureshi Mehdi said.

Mehdi said he checked Ditkowsky's ticket and found that all but the Powerball number were a match, meaning the man had won $1 million.

"I told him, 'You match five numbers. You got a million dollars,' " Mehdi said. But, the customer "doesn't believe me. I tell him three times."

Mehdi, owner of the Lotto and Convenience store at 149-4 Veterans Hwy., said Ditkowsky comes in every few days to buy tickets and bought this winner on Monday.

"I was happy," he said.

Three other New York retailers sold million-dollar Powerball tickets, according to the New York Lottery Facebook page -- in the Bronx, Larchmont and West Haverstraw. The lottery's Facebook posting said, "Would have liked a New York jackpot winner, but at least we got several $1,000,000 second prizes . . ."

The numbers drawn were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and the Powerball 6.

After 16 drawings with no winner, the $587 million was the second-largest potential lottery payout in U.S. history.

Ticket sales had been brisk in the days leading up to Wednesday's big drawing, Mehdi said, and once the word got out Thursday, customers have been telling him, "Your store's a lucky store."

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