LI couple: It's not Mega, but it'll do

David D'Amore, 66, and his girlfriend Diane Pasquale,

David D'Amore, 66, and his girlfriend Diane Pasquale, both of Lindenhurst, hold a copy of the 20x The Money scratch off ticket, which gave them a $1 million jackpot, at the Queens Botanical Gardens. (March 28, 2012) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

It may not be the $500-million Mega Millions jackpot, but David D'Amore, 66, and his girlfriend Diane Pasquale, both of Lindenhurst, happily accepted a ceremonial New York Lottery check for $1 million Wednesday.

A retired production manager for Estee Lauder, D'Amore said he bought the winning 20X The Money scratch-off ticket Feb. 20 at the Linden Quick Stop, West Montauk Highway, Lindenhurst. He had been picking up milk, as well as snacks for a movie he and Pasquale were going to watch, "The Descendants" with George Clooney.

After Pasquale scratched the ticket, they looked at it, were stunned and forgot about the movie, D'Amore said at the presentation ceremony at Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing.

"You never believe you're going to win this big," the longtime lottery player said.

"I bought the ticket, and Diane scratched it, so we thought the only fair thing to do was share the prize," said D'Amore in a New York Lottery release.

He'll receive 20 annual payments of $23,163 each after taxes, and Pasquale, retired from the Long Island Rail Road, will get 20 payments a year of $9,927 each after taxes.

D'Amore said he's already bought a new Camaro and is planning a trip to Hawaii to visit Pearl Harbor. Pasquale said part of her winnings will go to paying for furniture and a new Corvette she recently bought.

With Patricia Kitchen

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