June 28, 2013 – One week ago, six lucky residents of Long Island, N.Y. gathered at the New York Lottery’s customer service center in Garden City to collect their ceremonial oversized checks and claim their after-taxes winnings.
Among the crowd was retired NYPD officer Herb Mazzola, 68, of Massapequa Park, and his wife Mary Jane.
The couple will be splitting a $1 million win – about $662,000 after taxes – all because Mazzola decided to take a chance on an extra ticket.
“I usually play my own numbers each week, but this time I asked for a Powerball Quick Pick to go with it,” Mazzola told the Massepequan Observer.
“Then I watched the drawing, and realized that I had five numbers…I had won $1 million.”
Mazzola is happy he strayed from his normal routine, and even his normal lottery budget. “I only spend about five dollars a week on the lottery,” he told the Observer. “Still, that’s five dollars too much for my wife’s way of thinking.”
This time, the extra two dollars paid off, and gave Mazzola a chance to joke with Mary Jane.
“She was babysitting at my son’s house, and I asked her what she would do if she had a million dollars,” he said.
In so many words, Mary Jane’s response was that Herb should stop bothering her – until he told her “Well, we just won a million dollars.”
The millionaire couple will be using some of their money to work on their home, and will take a vacation to Florida to visit family.