Business & Finance

Man Wins $150k on Scratch-Off Lottery Ticket at Yorktown 7-Eleven

Don Fernandez, right, holds his framed winning scratch-off ticket. The ticket was sold by Ahmed Bashjawish, owner of the Yorktown 7-Eleven. Credits: Brian Marschhauser

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - One lucky Cortlandt resident walked away from the Commerce Street 7-Eleven $150,000 richer after testing his luck on a New York Lottery scratch-off ticket.

Don Fernandez made a routine stop to the store Saturday Jan. 21, as he often did when making the trip from Cortlandt Manor to Katonah for his job with the Modern Paint Group.

That day, he grabbed his morning coffee and a $20 Wild Bonanza Multiplier. Little did he know he was about to profit from the gamble 7,500 times over. As Fernandez scratched, his hands started to shake. He went inside where Ahmed Bashjawish, the store’s proprietor, was surprised to see him again so soon.

Sign Up for E-News

“I must have sat in my car for about five minutes in disbelief,” Fernandez said. When he finally made it inside, Bashjawish had to practically force him to sign the ticket, as he was still too stunned to function.

“You always hear stuff like this,” Fernandez said. “It’s definitely different when it happens to you.”

Fernandez has won before, though nowhere near this amount. Three years ago, he won $5,000. Bashjawish said someone won $1 million once as well at the location. Fernandez said he has always played the lottery and after hearing success stories, decided that 7-Eleven was a good spot to support the hobby.

Though Fernandez plays often, he invests responsibly and said it’s the same money being recycled, so it’s not a drain on his wallet. After tapping into his earnings to pay off his 27-year old son’s college debt, he helped out some friends with small expenses. Other than that, he said he’s saved it.

“It’s a good feeling when you can help people,” he said.

He plans to use some of the money to continue developing an idea that was recently patented, an angled shovel designed to reduce the need to lift when removing snow, called the “Patriot Tool.”

Fernandez came up with the idea decades ago, but didn’t start seriously pursuing until 2009. Named in part for its red, white and blue color scheme, Fernandez said that if successful, proceeds from the shovel’s sales will also go toward an organization that benefits wounded veterans. If he strikes up a deal with one potential manufacturer, the colors can also be changed to accommodate different countries, so it can be sold internationally and keep its name.

He recently started a new job in Ossining, and although things are looking good for the future of the Patriot Tool, Fernandez said he’s not looking to quit his day job anytime soon. He said that if it is successful, he will likely focus on the shovel full-time, but until the future is more certain he prefers to stay busy. Aside from the lottery, he enjoys fishing and bowling in his free time.

Although a piece of Fernandez’s advice, “you gotta be in it to win it,” is applicable to both the lottery and business ventures, he said some of it is simply up to chance and there is no set formula for winning. Frequent participation helps; however, he said some people win on the first try.

“Let’s face it,” he said. “It’s just dumb luck. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you’re the lucky winner.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Interview with Senate Candidate, Robert Kesten

The seat in the 40th Senate District of New York, currently occupied by Republican Sen. Terrence Murphy, is up this year. Senator Murphy, who has announced he is seeking re-election, has already started campaigning. On the Democratic side, newcomer Robert Kesten entered the race. Challenging him for the Democratic nomination is former county Legislator Peter Harckham. Kesten and Harckham will ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

What More Can Murphy Do?

June 21, 2018

In his letter “Murphy should address gun laws” (June 14), Bernard Lipsy praises Sen. Terrence Murphy and then condemns him for not keeping guns away from people that shouldn’t have them. I was wondering just what new laws he would propose? How many more laws are needed? How about enforcing the numerous laws already on the books, which, by the way, isn’t being done?

What ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 9:00 AM

Fourth Unitarian Society of Westchester, Mohegan Lake

Giant Church Tag Sale

Community Calendar

Sat, June 23, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

Bocce Open Play


Yorktown Youth Soccer Club Results

June 15, 2018

Sunday, June 10  - The Yorktown Crew clinched the Westchester Youth Soccer League JV-1 Division with a 4-3 win over Rivertown FC on Sunday. The team has been on a remarkable run for the past 2 seasons with a team record of 16-1-1. Sunday’s matchup vs Rivertown had a championship like atmosphere as Rivertown trailed Yorktown by 1 point in the standings. The Crew worked hard all week in ...