Three Long Islanders scratched their way to a total $10 million in New York Lottery winnings before taxes, and received ceremonial, oversized checks at a news conference Thursday afternoon in Plainview.
A Mount Sinai couple, Scott Guzzone and MaryAnn Lauro, will split their $7 million winnings from the New York Millions scratch-off game ticket bought at a Stop & Shop on Route 25A in Miller Place.
Lauro, who often has gut feelings about tickets, said: “I knew it was something. I figured a couple hundred dollars or something.”
At the news conference at the New York Lottery office, Lauro said she bought the ticket with $10 Guzzone had loaned her.
When she scanned the ticket’s bar code, Lauro said it read “Large Sum of Money Won.”
After scratching each section of the ticket and discovering the $7 million prize, she called Guzzone, who said he was in “disbelief.”
The couple will each receive $2,316,300 after taxes, and said they plan to use the money to invest, purchase a few new vehicles and help their family.
“It’s a blessing from God,” Lauro said.
The other winner, Michael DeFalco of Islandia, received his oversized check alongside his wife, Kristen, on their 10-year wedding anniversary.
DeFalco, a distribution manager of retail food, said he started buying the pink $3,000,000 Frenzy ticket because he liked the way it looked. Occasionally he’d win $200 or less, he said.
One night on his way home from work, DeFalco stopped at the gas station where he often bought tickets and used the $10 from his last winning scratch off to buy another Frenzy ticket.
DeFalco said he looked around after seeing he had a winner, he put the ticket in his pocket and made sure his car doors were locked before he left the gas station.
His wife thought DeFalco was lying when he called and told her the news. After she returned home from shopping, the two ran to meet each other in the street — to jump, scream, hug, cry and kiss in celebration of the win.
DeFalco will receive a one-time payment of $1,594,938 after taxes, which he said he would use to invest, buy a house and prepare for retirement.