NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man was driving around for weeks with a winning lottery ticket worth $2.9 million in his truck and didn’t even know it.
Jerry Ritieni, who owns Extreme Auto Body Repairs in Massapequa, bought $20 worth of Lotto tickets on July 19, but left them in his truck and forgot about them.
“I usually put it in my sun visor and when I get back to work on Monday I check the numbers and for some reason this ticket I didn’t put it up there,” Ritieni told 1010 WINS. “I put it in my center console.”
When Ritieni went to up Vermont about two weeks ago, he found the tickets while looking for his keys and put them in his pocket.But it was still a few days before he checked to see if he had won.
“When I checked the numbers, the numbers came out exactly the way they came out on the lotto, number for number in numerical order,” the 47-year-old father of two said.
Ritieni has yet to decide whether to take the lump-sum payout of $1.9 million dollars or 26 annual payments, but said he will continue to work.
“It’s not life changing money, it’s life easier money. It would’ve been nice if it had been $300 million, but it is what it is,” Ritieni said. “The way I’m looking at it, what it really did is it helped me secure my kids’ future.”
Ritieni said he will also keep on buying lottery tickets.”Hopefully lightning will strike twice, this time I’m going to check them as soon as I get back,” Ritieni said.
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