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Mega Millions winner still in it to win it

Last year, Mary Morrison, now of Belle Terre,

Last year, Mary Morrison, now of Belle Terre, won the Mega Millions lottery with her husband to the tune of $168 million, purchased a ticket Friday at Sonny's Cards and Things in Rocky Point for another chance at the jackpot. (Dec. 31, 2010) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

A year after she and her husband clinched Long Island's largest lottery jackpot of $165 million, Mary Morrison was trying to strike it rich again.

She was back at the same Rocky Point store where she bought her winning ticket to invest a dollar for a chance at winning Friday night's $242 million Mega Millions prize.

"Why I'm playing?" asked Morrison, who used to live in Miller Place and now resides in Belle Terre. "Because if I win again I can go full scale and really help people . . . I can do it now, but if I win I can do it even bigger, grander."

She offered kernels of advice to any winner: Invest wisely, get a financial consultant and be generous giving away your "gift from above," she said.

"Whoever wins it, they're blessed and they need to do right by it," she said Friday, a year and 10 days after winning the jackpot with her husband, Richard. "My advice is to get a financial team before they come forward, people that they trust, invest it wisely and pay it forward."

Morrison said the money has served her - and others - quite well.

The couple has tried to balance the good life that the money has bought them by giving back some of it, Morrison said. "We've had a magnificent year of having a team that supports and protects us," she said. "We have given to many, many people that are in need. My whole family, my husband and I have done a lot and it's been a blessed year."

After the Morrisons claimed their lottery winnings last January, they became embroiled in disputes with Suffolk County over property taxes and a county contract formerly held by a nonprofit run by Richard Morrison.

The county sued the Morrisons for $950,000 to settle claims that the nonprofit, Love'M Sheltering Inc., overcharged the county for sheltering homeless people. The Morrisons' attorney said the couple is not responsible for the nonprofit's debts. The Morrisons are due to return to State Supreme Court in Riverhead on Jan. 11.

With Carl MacGowan

and Josh Seidman

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