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Broadway News sells winning lottery ticket

August 27th, 2009

Cheryl Brown (l.) poses with NY Lottery Spokesperson Yolanda Vega.

According to the New York State Lottery, Cheryl Brown purchased a $500,000,000 Extravaganza scratch-off ticket in Newburgh on her way in to work on July 30. She’s quoted as saying, “I scratched the ticket in my car and got a little excited, too excited really; I almost jumped the curb! I called my kids and my mom and they calmed me down enough to get to work.” Brown, who works as a housekeeping supervisor, had won $1,000,000. Yolanda Vega and the New York Lottery came to Newburgh on Aug. 19 to personally present her with a check. So far this year, five Orange County residents have each won a million dollars from the New York Lottery.

Brown will collect $50,000 a year for 20 years ($33,015 a year after taxes). The million dollar check presented to her by Yolanda Vega is actually just a prop and, unfortunately, not negotiable.

Brown purchased her ticket from the H M Rajat News, better known to city residents as Broadway News, on Broadway in Newburgh. The man behind the register there, Kerry Genter, has sold his share of winning tickets. On the walls around the store are New York Lottery posters boasting of past winners sold there, $10,000; $20,000; $100,000. Brown was their first millionaire. “She came in [July 30] and said she won the million dollars and was going to go in and claim it,” said Genter. “She’d been in a couple of times.” When asked if she’d offered a trip to Bermuda or any other gift as thanks, Genter said, “a lot of people say that, but they don’t win.”

Despite the temptation of the many, many lottery cards that surround him each day at work, Genter said he’s not a frequent gambler. “Very rare. I got kids. I got to take care of the family. $30 — I could buy groceries with that.” Brown’s winning ticket cost her $20, and other scratch-off tickets sell for as much as $40.

Ricci Laganaro of Newburgh came into Broadway News to purchase some scratch-off tickets for himself, with his 5-year old daughter helping to pick them out by color. Laganaro said that he plays, “once in a while,” and once won $100 ten years ago. He hadn’t been aware that the most recent million dollar ticket was sold at Broadway News, but when asked if he’d like to be a winner, he said, “Sounds good to me.” A former NYC investment banker, he said he has the knowledge to invest any winnings wisely.

Another Broadway News customer, who chose to remain anonymous, said she once won $2,500 in the Lottery. She called Brown’s win, “amazing, unbelievable — it was a blessing from God,” and confessed to playing the lottery on a daily basis. “I don’t drink,” she said, “so I smoke cigarettes and play Lotto.” She buys her tickets at Broadway News to, “see if some of the luck will rub off on me.”

In fiscal year 2008-2009, the New York Lottery said it contributed nearly $2.54 billion to help support education in New York State. That amounts to more than 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts. Overall, the Lottery said, it has contributed more than $36.7 billion in education support to New York State since it began in the early 1960s.

“It was meant for her,” said Genter. “If it’s meant for you, you’re going to win it no matter what.” Research for this story included the purchase of a $2 scratch-off ticket, the 5X Lucky, which turned out to be a non-winner. Better luck to all.


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