Feb. 26, 2014 – A convenience store clerk handed over eight scratch-offs when Jerry Kajfasz paid for seven tickets on Jan. 18. Kajfasz handed back the extra ticket, but after winning $25 on the first seven, he decided he’d spend his winnings on that extra ticket after all.
That turned out to be a great decision, as Kajfasz scored the top prize on the New York Lottery’s $20 Win for Life Spectacular ticket. The prize has a guaranteed minimum of $10 million – $10,000 a week for life.
The fifty-three year old said in during a press conference Tuesday that he was shocked when he revealed the word “life,” signaling that he’d won the top prize.
“I just sat there and couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I probably looked over the ticket half a dozen times.”
After having his ticket validated and leaving the store, Kajfasz called his children and told them: “Come over as soon as possible. I have some champagne.”
The family decided to put the winnings under Frank Kajfasz’ name, Jerry’s son, so that the Kajfasz children can continue to collect any winnings should their father pass away before the payout period ends.
Kajfasz decided to receive 86 percent for himself and his wife, and his son and daughter will each receive 7 percent of the winnings. Before taxes, Jerry and his wife will receive about $450,000 per year and the Kajfasz children will each receive about $37,000 per year.
Kajfasz told media present at Tuesday’s press conference, held inside the Depew One Stop store where the winning ticket was purchased, that he planned to take care of his family with his newfound wealth, starting with a promised trip to Poland so his mother can visit family.
He’ll also be taking care of himself; just as every lottery player dreams of doing, Kajfasz retired from his printing job shortly after the big win.