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‘Radio Free’ Montone: Big Lottery Jackpots & 1010 WINS: Perfect Together

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By John Montone, 1010 WINS

If you’re one of the millions of listeners who wakes up each morning to 1010 WINS, you’re likely familiar with the voice, and tone, of the station’s intrepid reporter John Montone.

Best known for his no holds barred, man on the street reporting, Montone has been getting in the faces — and ears — of New Yorkers for what seems like an eternity.

Montone has added to his repertoire by bringing his unique reporting style to print.

So please take a look and listen to John’s new venture: Radio Free Montone — a weekly blog where Montone takes you behind the scenes of news radio in New York City, and gives his observations on reporting in the greatest city in the world.

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – 1010 WINS and big lottery jackpots — perfect together.

Unlike many news organization which fill their pages and air with politicians, public officials and self-serving lawyers, 1010 WINS has always gone out of its way to give voice to the people of the metropolitan area.

This week alone I talked to folks in Tribeca about a K-Mart commercial warning us that it wasn’t too early to begin holiday shopping…right. A week after Labor Day and we should be singing, “Deck the halls.”

On Tuesday I was mingling with the wee hour riders on the platform at the Time Square subway station, asking them about a new app called “Metro Nap”  that vibrates as a train reaches the user’s destination to wake them up from a subway snooze. Some riders claimed to possess an internal app that prevented them from sleeping past their station, but a young lady admitted that she once woke up in Canarsie instead of the Bronx.

But the best man on the street — MOS in the news biz — comes when the Mega Millions or in this case Powerball jackpot climbs into the hundreds of millions. It’s then that the hardcore scratch-offers and Pick-4 fanatics are joined on line by the rest of us. People cram the counters at convenience stores sending those big green ticket-dispensing machines into a frenzy.

And for my purposes they share their dreams.

To be sure, the most popular strike it rich fantasies involve telling the boss to take this job and shove it where the sun don’t shine, or sipping icy drinks on the hot pink sand of a tropical paradise. Travel to exotic lands, souped-up muscle cars and villas, mansions, estates and compounds are also on the list. And everyone is spending the fortune they don’t yet have on family and friends. Some even offer me a cut.

But if you hang around the line long enough, you hear unique tales — yearnings to do something special.

Before Wednesday’s drawing I visited Pop-Pop Patel’s 7-Eleven in Hackensack where a gentleman on the north side of 70, wearing a Hasbrouck Heights High School hat, told me that if he won he would use the money to tear down the field house at his alma mater’s football field. It’s a leaky, crumbling structure that was built during the New Deal. And he would construct a new one — bigger and better — with all the best equipment for the kids. I asked if he would want his name on it. “No,” he said pointing to his cap, “We’re the Aviators and it would be the Aviator’s Field House.”

A tall, powerfully-built young man, who seemed to care little about stock-piling possessions, said he would buy up acres and acres of land to set up a nature preserve for bears so that they could roam free. “You’re kidding, “ I said. “Bears?”

He told me that as a big guy who was mild-mannered, he’d like to show the world that big, bad, black bears are really sweet creatures.

And then there was Bob from Hackensack, standing apart from the Powerball players for good reason. Bob was adamant about NOT buying a ticket. To Bob, big money means big problems. He claimed he’d rather stay poor. “I won’t be able to sleep at night,” he said, “worrying about who’s going to rob me. And then everybody will say they know me — he’s my uncle, he’s my cousin, he’s my nephew.”

Since the one winning ticket was sold far from Pop-Pop Patel’s 7-Eleven, it’s safe to say Bob got his wish and is not a multi-millionaire.

The Hasbrouck Heights’ football team and the black bear population of North Jersey will have to wait.

John Montone

1010 WINS

Be well.