Long Islanders share $16M in lottery winnings

The New York Lottery says six Long Islanders were handed prize checks totaling $16 million Friday, April 11, 2014, at a ceremony in Plainview. (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

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Six Long Islanders were handed prize checks totaling $16 million Friday at a ceremony in Plainview, the New York Lottery said.

Splitting the $13 million jackpot from the March 8 Lotto drawing are John Ventrice and his wife, Sharon, of Seaford. The winning ticket came their way free as part of a limited-time lottery sales promotion, when Ventrice sent his son Zachary, 21, out to buy $20 worth of Lotto and Powerball tickets, the lottery said.

A senior project engineer at Capital One, Ventrice said he was checking the numbers the next morning while buying gas, seeing that the first Lotto ticket had made him a $1 winner. "I then scanned the [free] Lotto ticket and it said 'Big Winner,' " said the father of three. "I asked the clerk just how big, and after he told me, I couldn't pump the gas fast enough."

Each will receive single lump-sum net payments of $2,682,515.50, the lottery said.

A Valley Stream father of two who works two cleaning jobs said his $1 million prize winnings from a Ruby 2s scratch-off ticket will allow him to spend more time with his family, as well as enroll in a class to improve his English.

El Salvador native Jimmy Candelario, 37, bought his $5 ticket at The Depot New Smithhaven Smoke Shop at the Green Acres Mall.

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Candelario opted for a single net payment of $516,204.

In New York for 10 years, he said he is already enrolled in a class to become a U.S. citizen, the lottery said.

Dennis Pedra, 38, a construction company owner in Holbrook, waited seven months before claiming his $1 million second prize from the July 13, 2013, Powerball drawing, the lottery said. He bought the winning Quick Pick ticket at Carry-All Wine & Liquor, at 5507 Nesconset Hwy. in Mount Sinai.

Pedra opted for a lump-sum net payment of $661,800, the lottery said.

Peter "Pete" Arebalo, 36, a massage therapist in Babylon, is sharing his Win $1,000 A Week For Life scratch-off game winnings with his friend Aazazullah Kahn, 20, a clerk at the 7-Eleven at 140 Little East Neck Rd., West Babylon, where he buys his tickets.

Each has opted for the lump sum net payment of $257,014, of the prize worth at least $1 million, the lottery said.

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