82-Year-Old Long Island Woman Scratches Her Way To $7 Million Lottery Prize

SELDEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island grandmother and her daughter and grandchildren were sharing a big lottery win Tuesday.

New York Lottery spokeswoman Yolanda Vega led Marilyn Looney, 82, past a crush of media crowded into the Selden convenience store where she bought her winning $7 million scratch-off ticket last month.

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, Looney credited being unable to get her hair done for ending up with the winning ticket.

Her hairdresser was running behind on July 3, so she decided to go into Mili Cards and Smoke Shop in Selden to purchase a scratch-off lottery ticket.

“Every week she comes in, she gets her hair done, and then goes and scratches tickets,” said Looney’s hairdresser, Treesha Powery. “And I was running late, so I said, ‘Marilyn, go scratch first today.’”

Looney did just that. It was a lucky pick, and the store’s owner couldn’t believe it.

“He read it and he came jumping over, and said, ‘My God, lady, you’re a millionaire,’” Looney said. “You’ve just won $7 million.”

Looney immediately called her daughter.

“I grabbed my cellphone, called my daughter and said, ‘Get down here, we just won $7 million,'” Looney said.

Looney later stopped back in Family Haircutters Salon next door to hug her hairdresser.

“I came in here like a raving maniac: ‘Treesha! I won $7 million!’” she said. “She didn’t believe me.”

Looney plans to share the winnings with her daughter, Carol Prevete, and her four grandchildren – including a 19-year-old, and 12-year-old triplets who are already spending their newfound fortune.

“(They’re saying): ‘Can I have this? Can I have that?’” Prevete said. “And I’m like: ‘Hold the horses. We haven’t even got the money yet.’”

Looney said she and her daughter have always shared their winnings, and this time was to be no exception.

“Make sure that my daughter and her family are taken care of and they don’t have to worry about anything,” Looney said. “I’m 82, I don’t need anything. I just want to see them happy and taken care of.”

Looney is battling cancer, and her husband is in a nursing home. She said she will seek better medical care for both of them, and has only one traditional wish for spending her winnings.

“Maybe a trip to Disney World with my kids,” she said.

Looney added she will buy a house for the family and pay off everyone’s debt, while setting aside money for her grandchildren’s education.

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