PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Even though the big Powerball winner was in Massachusetts, there were some $1 million tickets sold at seven different locations around the Tri-State area.
CBS2’s Steve Overmyer spoke with one of the newly minted millionaires.
At W&R Mini Market in Paterson, New Jersey, the winner had no idea until the ticket was scanned.
“I scanned the ticket for him, and then I looked at the screen, and it said, ‘file a claim,’ and it just had one and a bunch of zeros,” clerk Suzanne Del Jesus said. “And then I printed it out for him, and I handed it to him, and I said, ‘you’re a winner!’”
“When they told me, ‘no, you have a million — one million dollar,.’ I said, ‘no, are you serious? Could you check again, please? Just make sure it’s the ticket.’” Juan Mendez told Overmyer.
Mendez drives a truck for the U.S. Post Office. Five other family members each gave him a number to use, and he bought the ticket Wednesday night just minutes before closing. Thursday morning, he almost forgot about it.
“I got one more that I bought last night. So I said, ‘wait a minute, I have one more,’” he said.
The odds of picking five numbers are about one in 11 million. So you can understand his family’s reaction.
“Nobody believed me,” Mendez said. “I’m a winner, I got the Powerball. They said, ‘ah, come on.’”
He may buy his house and maybe a new car, but he never wanted to be greedy. He also said he likes working at the Post Office and has no plans to quit his job.
“Maybe one day. I don’t want too much, I just want a little bit to do something,” he said. “And the day came.”
He does, however, plan to share his winnings with his family.
Three $1 million winning tickets were sold in New York at a Hudson News in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Chunnu News on 3rd Avenue and 44th Street, and at a Kwik Fill in the town of Cheektowaga, NY, outside Buffalo.
“I’m feeling happy, you know?” said Abdul Choudhury, owner of Chunnu News. “When we have a big winner, the customers are going to come, they’re going to play more.”
Choudhury said the store says about 70,000 tickets a week, which makes them one of the most active locations in Midtown.
Another $1 million winning ticket was sold at L and K Petroleum on Route 47 in Dorchester, New Jersey.
In Connecticut, a $1 million winning ticket was sold in Litchfield County. A $2 million prize was also sold in Hartford County.