The clerk at the Bronx convenience store was telling customers it had sold a big winner in the state's lottery game. But Korede Mojeed of Valley Stream never figured he was that big winner.
Mojeed, 64, was one of seven new New York Lottery millionaires introduced Tuesday by the state agency. The recently retired registered pharmacist won $1 million in the Powerball drawing on July 10.
Mojeed said he stopped at Fordham Convenience and Grocery on Fordham Avenue to buy Powerball tickets for that night's drawing. The next day, he went back to check his ticket.
Mojeed heard the clerk telling everyone about a big winner.
"I ran my ticket through the ticket checker and realized it was me," he said in a news release from the lottery.
Originally from Nigeria, Mojeed said he has lived in New York for more than 30 years. He plans to take his winnings as a onetime payment of $661,800 after required withholdings and will use a portion of that cash to replace his 14-year-old car and pay off his mortgage.
Mojeed said he spends about $20 playing lottery games because he believes the agency's pitch.
"I believe in the commercial that says, 'Hey, you never know,' " said Mojeed, who retired as a pharmacist at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx but continues to work as part-time pharmacist for Rite Aid.
"I figure I'll spend a little money and eventually, I will probably win. It is my dream come true," he said
Other millionaire winners introduced on Tuesday included:
-- Melissa Beck of Brooklyn who won $1 million in the Cash Blast scratch-off game. She purchased the ticket at 18th Avenue Deli in Brooklyn in August 2012 and kept it in a safety deposit box while she set up a trust. She will get a lump sum of $529,440 after required withholdings. She said her plans are to use the money for a new house and to help save for the future.
-- Igor Topchiy, 27, an unemployed construction worker from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who won $1 million, the top prize, in the Silver & Gold scratch-off game. His fiancee gave him his winning ticket as a belated birthday gift. He will collect a lump sum of $510,983 before withholdings.
-- Jamel Wright, 44, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver from Manhattan who won the $3-million top prize on the 50X the Money scratch-off game. He will receive a lump-sum payment of $1,570,061 after withholdings.
-- Arnon and Ilana Perelman, of Fresh Meadows, Queens, who won a lump sum of $1,227,345 in the Set for Life scratch-off game. They claimed their winning ticket July 22 at the Garden City customer service center.
-- Sang Yoo, 35, of Elmhurst, Queens, who won a $1-million top prize on the Cash Blowout scratch-off game. A payroll officer for CUNY, Yoo will receive a lump sum of $517,123 after withholdings.