The owner of a Long Island auto body shop purchased several lottery tickets in July, stuffed them in the console of his truck and forgot about them for a month.
Jerry Ritieni, 47, found the tickets while he was searching for keys and took them into his Massapequa office to check the numbers online.
Sure enough, one of them was a winner.
“I was going through my numbers one by one, circling each number that matched up,” Ritieni told the New York Post. “It took a minute for me to comprehend that I just hit the jackpot. I was like, ‘No way, no way! Holy s–t!’”
Ritieni beat 1 to 47 million odds and won $2.9 million in the New York Lottery. When he told his 17-year-old son, he didn’t believe him.
“I joke around a lot, so his reaction was, ‘Yeah, OK,’” Retieni recalled.
“I was completely shocked, I still am,” Ritieni said. “My jaw dropped to the ground.”
He says he hasn’t decided whether he wants a lump sum payout of $1.9 million or 26 annual payments.
“My only plan is to secure my kids’ future,” he said.
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Mark Ou, Victoralcorn.com