Four lottery scratch-off tickets . . . four new Long Island millionaires.
A pizza cook, a hotel employee, a construction worker, and a salesman received a total of $20 million in winnings from the New York Lottery.
The four appeared at the lottery’s Plainview office Wednesday, where officials handed each a ceremonial check and they discussed their new wealth. The winners were given the choice of how they want to collect after taxes, either in a lump sum or spread out over time.
Robert Valdes, who works at a Ramada Inn, was shaking as he accepted his $5 million check. He bought the winning CashX100 ticket Jan. 27 at a gas station in Rockville Centre. Before scratching it, Valdes said he placed the ticket on his dashboard and said a little prayer.
“I didn’t ask for a lot,” said Valdes, 52. “I just wanted enough to get myself back on my feet and recoup what I lost that day [in losing tickets].”
Valdes said after the winning numbers appeared he “stared at the ticket for about 30 minutes” and then checked it at two more stores before reality started to set in.
He said he has two big purchases planned — a Porsche for him and a car for his son. He may splurge on private cooking lessons too, he said, but will continue to work at the hotel.
Valdes will take his winnings in a lump sum of $3,309,000.
Jose Pablo Sabillon Doblado, 39, a construction worker from Brentwood, said he’s played the lottery every day for the past four years. He had never won much until his luck turned Dec. 28. A ticket purchased at a Central Islip gas station revealed the top prize of $5 million in a Set for Life scratch-off game.
Doblado, originally from Honduras, has opted for payments for the rest of his life, amounting to $172,068 annually.
Wil Donaldo Villeda, a pizza cook from Freeport, scored a $7 million win in the New York Millions scratch-off game. Villeda, 32, purchased a ticket Jan. 2 on his lunch break, scratched it off in the bathroom and finished his shift without telling anyone about the jackpot until he returned home.
“I saw the seven million jackpot prize and couldn’t believe it. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me,” he said. “I was so happy, so emotional.”
He has opted for a lump-sum payment of $4,632,600
Mang Wong, of Patchogue, hit it big to the tune of $3 million thanks to the jackpot-winning combination on his Instant Millionaire ticket.
Wong, an import/export salesman, was on the train headed into Manhattan for work recently when he scratched his ticket. He sent a picture of the winning numbers to his wife, who thought it was a prank. She didn’t believe him until she saw the ticket for herself, he said.
There are no extravagant plans in store for Wong, 45, simply paying off his mortgage and taking care of his family, he said.
He chose annual payments for 20 years, of $99,270.
With Patricia Kitchen