Two longtime friends from Lido Beach won $8.3 million in the Lotto drawing on March 18, the New York State Gaming Commission said Wednesday.
The winners — Elizabeth Kelly, 56, and Randi Bernstein, 63 — both of whom work for the U.S. Postal Service and who have been friends for 20 years, only recently started playing the lottery together.
“It was kind of a fluky decision we made in the last couple of months,” Bernstein, a postmaster and mother of two, said. “I’m not really sure why we started playing or why we chose Lotto.”
She added: “I buy the tickets and she [Kelly] checks them.”
And so it was that Bernstein spent $2 on four sets of Lotto Quick Picks for the March 18 drawing and Kelly checked the winning numbers in the Sunday paper the following morning. Immediately Kelly notified Bernstein of their good fortune.
“I was in total denial,” Bernstein said. “I thought ‘How could this be?’ And then there was a lot of crying.”
Their winning ticket, purchased at Rip’s Cards & Things in Oceanside, matched all six numbers in the drawing.
Bernstein and Kelly opted to receive the cash value of their $8.3 million annuitized prize so that each will receive a onetime payment of $2,714,232.
Kelly hasn’t decided what she’ll do with her share, but Bernstein said she plans to replace her old car and do much-needed work on her home.