Two Long Islanders were among the 13 new lottery millionaires -- including a bus driver, a nursing assistant, an office manager and a machine operator -- to receive more than $50 million in ceremonial checks and prizes Friday at Resorts World Casino New York City in Jamaica, the New York Lottery said.
Jerry Ritieni, an auto body shop owner in Massapequa, said he'll have to retire one of his favorite lines about how he keeps missing the Lotto jackpot by just five numbers.
"I can't tell that joke anymore," said the already much-publicized Lotto winner of $2.9 million from a ticket he bought at Cumberland Farms, 200 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Syosset.
Opting for a onetime payment of a net $1,241,407, Ritieni, 48, said he'll use the money to help his family.
Winning $1 million in the April 8 Mega Millions drawing was Algis Valys, Center Moriches, who bought his ticket while on a food shopping expedition to Waldbaum's, 812 Montauk Hwy., Center Moriches.
$7M Cash4Life winners
The really big money, though, is going to a bus driver from Brooklyn and an unemployed investment banker from Bayside who each won $7 million Cash4Life jackpots. The top prize in this game, a lottery spokeswoman said, is "$1,000 a day for life with a minimum guaranteed payout of $7 million."
A new car is definitely on the horizon for Rodney Cochran, 61, the New York City Transit bus driver who won in the July 31 drawing and opted for a onetime net payment of $4,361,280, which will also go to "help my family" and "upgrade my living conditions."
"Every day when I end my route," the single father said, "I stop by this grocery store to use the restroom, and maybe buy some lottery tickets."
One day the clerk told him, "we had a $1,000-a-day-for-life winner from last night's drawing," Cochran said. "When I checked the results against my ticket, I saw that I was that winner!"
William Morton, 50, the former investment banker who won the June 23 drawing $7 million jackpot, said that up until now, his biggest lottery win was $25.
As for what he'll do with this latest windfall, "I have no idea really. It hasn't sunk in yet," said Morton, who opted to receive 20 annual payments of a net $227,410 each. "Once the $7 million minimum payout has been met," the lottery said, "his annual payments will continue for life."
Other New York City winners
A Hollis grandmother of 11 -- the first New Yorker to win the Cadillac & Cash scratch-off top prize of $500,000 and a 2014 Cadillac CTS -- said of half her prize, "It's a lot of car. I hope it doesn't go too fast for me."
Nowatee Singh, 68, a certified nursing assistant, said she won the cash and car on the first such ticket she bought.
En route to a friend's house, she stopped at Zibber Corp., 89-20 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights, bought and scratched the ticket, seeing the match.
"I never made it past the store," said the mother of two. "I put the ticket in my pocketbook and headed straight home."
Besides the car, which the lottery says represents a total value of $70,574, Singh will receive a onetime net payment of $311,520.
Other recent winners, according to the lottery, include:
* Delphine Paige-Lee, a New York City Transit superintendent from the Bronx, won a guaranteed $1 million Cash4Life second prize in the Aug. 7 drawing, buying her ticket at RLP Stationery, 3807 White Plains Rd. in the Bronx.
* Hospital office manager Daisy Ramos of the Bronx won a top prize on the Win $1,000 A Week For Life scratch-off game. Ramos, 56, said she was thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to retire?" as she handed over $2 to the clerk at the 24 Deli Grocery at 1801 Williamsbridge Rd., the Bronx. Ramos elected to receive her prize in one lump sum totaling $800,024 (net $498,447).
* Johnnie Johnson of Brooklyn has lucky number 16 to thank for his $1 million win on the Extreme 8s scratch-off ticket he bought at Rochdale Junction Inc., 165-90 Baisley Blvd., Jamaica. He claimed his prize at Resorts World Casino New York City without realizing it was worth $1 million. A subsequent letter from the lottery explained Johnson's turn of fortune, and Johnson chose a lump sum of $780,000 (net $485,971).
* Husband and wife Umberto and Gina Forzano of Jackson Heights will split a $5 million top prize on the $20 Maximum Millions scratch-off game. Umberto, a retired manager of an Italian imports store, bought the pair's ticket at the Lucky Smoke Shop, 96-09 Roosevelt Ave., Corona. Umberto's share of the prize totals $3 million (net $1,869,120); Gina will take home the remaining $2 million, net value of $1,246,080.
* Roman Kandinov of Rego Park, who did some homework before buying his $1 million-winning 25X The Cash scratch-off ticket at Family Pharmacy, 2754 Third Ave., the Bronx. Kandinov said he chose the game after checking the Unclaimed Prize Report on the lottery's website and seeing there were still two top prizes left. Kandinov chose a lump-sum payment of $760,000 (net $473,510).
* Mother and son Eudalene and Charles Stewart, of Queens Village and Mississippi, respectively. Eudalene Stewart claimed a $3 million prize on a $100 Million Payout ticket purchased by her ailing husband. Stewart said she returned to the store with her husband to check a number of tickets and overheard the clerk tell her husband, "This is one you should give to your wife for safekeeping." At her husband's request, Stewart split the prize with her son. Each will get a lump sum of $1,135,000 (net $751,143).
* Machine operator Lawrence Anderson of Staten Island won $1 million on the Big Bucks Multiplier scratch-off game. Anderson bought his ticket at his "Always go there store," Armstrong Grocery, 4295 Amboy Rd., Staten Island. He opted to receive his prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000 each (net $31,152 annually).