Long Beach resident Diana Orozco hit the $3 million jackpot on Feb. 15 after playing one of the New York Lottery’s scratch-off games.
On Dec. 31, Orozco — who is self-employed in the clothing sale industry — asked her husband to go to the store to buy a $3 million Frenzy ticket.
“I wanted that ticket because it’s a new game, and I’ve been playing it for about a week,” Orozco said.
As soon as her husband scratched the ticket and saw that she had won, he called her to tell her the good news.
“He said, ‘Oh my God! You won!” Orozco said. “I didn’t believe him. I thought he was joking, but when he got home and showed me the ticket, I knew right away that I won three million dollars.”
Orozco said she likes to play the scratch-off game every day and was overwhelmed by her jackpot win. “Sometimes you might feel like you are not going to win, but I am a true believer now.”
She chose to receive her prize as a one-time lump-sum payment of $2.4 million, netting her $1.6 million after required withholdings. She said she plans to buy a house, a car and save for the future.
Orozco wasn’t the only Long Islander who claimed lottery scratch-off prizes this week. Neal Damato, a 71-year-old retired Suffolk County Public Safety Supervisor and Medford resident, won at least five million dollars after playing the lottery’s Set for Life game.
He chose to receive his prize as a one-time lump-sum payment, netting him $2.6 million after required withholdings.
Damato said he planned to use his winnings for a Hawaiian vacation with his wife, Carol, to celebrate the pair’s 50th wedding anniversary next month.