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New York Lottery player hits $5M winner on 28th birthday

Oh, to be turning 28 years old again.

Oh, to hit the $5 million lottery jackpot on your 28th birthday!

That’s just what the New York Lottery said happened last month to Patrick Clarke of Queens, who says he has his mother to thank.

In return for doing her a favor, his mother gave him a bit of money as a thank you, said Clarke, a ramp agent for Delta Air Lines.

“I knew right away I wanted to buy a lottery ticket and knew it had to be Set for Life,” he said Wednesday in a New York Lottery news release. “That’s always been my mom’s game and it’s my game now.”

On his birthday, Dec. 20, he bought the Set for Life scratch-off ticket at the Friendly Deli & Grocery on Saratoga Avenue in Brooklyn. At his girlfriend’s house he scratched the ticket to find “a match on No. 16 with the word ‘Life’ under it,” Clarke said.

We know more or less what comes next: “I started laughing and dancing all around the house,” Clarke said — and wouldn’t we all?

He was certainly surprised and feeling blessed, he said, as “it means I won’t have to worry so much. There will always be something to worry about, but for once, it won’t be about money.”

He’ll be walking away with a one-time lump sum totaling $2,453,693 after required withholdings, the lottery said.

As for advice for other lottery players, Clarke said, “Play without the expectation of winning. It happens when you least expect it.”

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