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Lottery mints newest million-dollar winners

Thomas Mainella and his fiancee, Donna, celebrate on

Thomas Mainella and his fiancee, Donna, celebrate on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Plainview. The couple is among a group of Long Islanders who won a combined $12 million from scratch-off tickets. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Lindenhurst woman who plans to split her winnings with the "four people I love the most," and an electrician from Melville who will spend some of the money on his wedding, each won $5 million and were among four Long Islanders presented ceremonial checks Tuesday in Plainview.

Jan Graff, 63, and Thomas Mainella, 62, were the big scratch-off game winners. The others were Sheila Esposito, 67, of Lindenhurst, who won $1 million; and Glenn Sternkopf, 54, of Holtsville, who also won $1 million.

Graff, an accounting professional, said she is sharing her $5 million Maximum Millions winnings with her mother and three grown children.

Graff and her family members will each receive one-time, lump-sum payments of $661,800, lottery officials said in a release.

A strategy for coping with frustration over a traffic detour led Mainella to pull over and buy six Set for Life tickets in December.

An electrician and father of three children, he was on his way home from work when he realized he had won a minimum $5 million, he said in the release.

The money will go toward a wedding for him and his fiancee, as well as toward his retirement.

He will receive 20 annual payments, and beyond that he will receive an annual check totaling $260,000 -- net $172,068 -- for life, lottery officials said.

A human resources specialist for the Internal Revenue Service, Esposito said an earlier run of good luck led to her buy the ticket bearing the $1 million top prize in the Million Dollar Money Clip game.

She opted to receive the cash value, meaning a single payment of $760,000, or $502,968 net, lottery officials said.

"Don't have a heart attack on me now," is how Sternkopf said he broke the news to his wife, Rae, that he was holding a $1 million jackpot-winning Black Diamond Riches ticket.

The father of two bought the ticket last month. He opted for a single payment of $830,000, or $549,294 net, lottery officials said.

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