UNION, NJ – A Union man has a slow day at work to thank for his New York Lottery windfall.
The New York Lottery announced on Wednesday that Gregory Velez, a parking garage attendant in Manhattan, won the top prize in the Feb. 25 drawing, earning him the guaranteed top prize of $7 million.
According to the New York Lottery’s website, Velez said he was bored at work that day, “so I decided to go across the street to buy a lottery ticket.” Velez said he asked the store clerk what game to play and the clerk suggested CASH4LIFE because the drawing was that night. “I never played the game before so I told him to give me a Quick Pick ticket.”
Velez, 58, said the day after the drawing a coworker mentioned that the store across the street sold the winning ticket. Velez checked his ticket and “went totally numb when I realized that I actually won. I walked around the block a few times to clear my head and then went back to work to let them know that I quit.”
Velez purchased his winning ticket at Southend News on South End Avenue in New York. He chose to receive his prize as a one-time lump sum payment totaling $4,632,600 after required withholdings.
Velez plans to use his prize to pay off bills, buy a new house and “take it easy.”
“I have two daughters and a granddaughter that I plan to take to Disney,” he said.