Jericho anesthesiologist Alan Strobel said when he and his wife, Tammy, got the call that he had won $6.2 million in the New York Lottery, the couple just assumed the voice on other end was pulling a scam.
So, Tammy Schwartz-Strobel, did what seemed sensible at the time -- she hung up.
"You have to understand," Alan Strobel said. "We never had any expectation of getting a call like this."
Luckily for the Strobels, lottery officials took no offense.
Thursday, the couple and four other Nassau residents received ceremonial checks at the opening for the lottery's new Long Island Customer Service Center in Plainview.
It turns out Alan Strobel isn't the only winner. He gave the cash to his wife as a gift and much of it will go to various charities, lottery officials said.
Tammy Schwartz-Strobel opted to receive a onetime lump payment of $3,912,722, which turns out to be $2,589,439 net, officials said.
The Jericho couple weren't alone. Other winners included Floral Park Village couple Alicia Cancel, 55, and her husband, Hilton Cancel, 60. They scored a second prize of $1 million in the Nov. 12 Mega Millions drawing, the lottery said.
Splitting the winnings, each will receive a lump-sum of $330,900 after withholdings.
Andrew Roland, 28, listened to his mom and bought a 20X Ca$h scratch-off when he met her Oct. 21 at Sai Gas & Food, in Farmingdale, to help with her car troubles. Scratched off was a $1 million winner.
An installer of underground gas lines for National Grid, Roland will stay on the job. He'll invest, help his family and buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, officials said.
He took a lump-sum payment of $840,000, which is $555,912 net, the lottery said.
Along with breakfast, Robert Blume picked up a Powerball ticket that made him a second-prize $1 million winner in the Oct. 23 drawing, the lottery said. A roofing company project manager, Blume, 37, bought the ticket at Virpa Convenience in Westbury.
The lump sum of $661,800 after withholdings will be used for debts and his children's education, the lottery said.
The owner of a dog and 10 cats, Blume said, "We're big animal people. . . . I can see us maybe doing something nice for animals too."