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Lottery announces Coram $3M scratch-off winner, Cash4Life prizes

Elizabeth Polcari, 49, of Coram, with New York

Elizabeth Polcari, 49, of Coram, with New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega, holds a winning King's Ransom New York State Lottery ticket at the New York State Lottery's custom service center in Plainview on Thursday, July 24, 2013. Polcari won $3 million on the scratch-off. Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Rader

Unlike winners who mull over their good fortune before earmarking their lottery winnings, Elizabeth Polcari said she'll buy a new home and plan "the wedding of my dreams."

"I'd also like to put a red Corvette in the driveway," said Polcari, 49, of Coram, who won the $3 million top prize with a King's Ransom scratch-off ticket.

She was one of three to be introduced Thursday at the New York Lottery's customer service center in Plainview, the other two being the state's first two Cash4Life winners.

Polcari attributed her good fortune to a shift in her attitude.

"A couple of years ago I changed the way I thought about myself," she said, formerly seeing herself as unlucky. "I changed my mind and decided to focus on the good, and everything started to turn around."

Polcari bought her winning ticket on June 26 at the 7-Eleven on Route 347 in Smithtown.

She formed a trust for her winnings, opting for a lump-sum net payment of $1,548,612, the lottery said.

A retired police officer from Ozone Park, Edna Aguayo is the first person in the state to win a Cash4Life jackpot prize of $1,000 a day for life in the July 14 drawing, the lottery said. That will translate to a net annual payment of $227,410 for the rest of her life.

Her good fortune, she said, can be traced to a comment from an amusement park fortune teller more than 16 years ago. The woman "told me to buy 'for life' lottery tickets, because she could see that one day I was going to hit a 'for life' prize," said Aguayo, who said she has no specific plans for the money.

On a tip from her father, Catherine Morales, 20, a college student in East Rockaway, bought a Cash4Life ticket that's made her the first person in the state to walk away with second prize, which is $1,000 a week for the rest of her life.

Buying her ticket at Virpa Inc., on Main Street in East Rockaway, she said she checked her numbers online the day after the June 19 drawing."At first I was in denial" after checking her numbers, she said, "but then I was just really happy." Her first call, of course, was to her father.

Opting for a cash value one-time payment of $661,800, Morales said she expects to use the money to pay for schooling, pay off student loans and save some to buy a house.


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