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Guy Finds $2.9M Lottery Ticket in His Truck

Jerry Ritieni already has plans for 'life-easier money'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2014 5:13 PM CDT
Guy Finds $2.9M Lottery Ticket in His Truck
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The owner of a Long Island body shop made a nifty discovery in his truck last month worth about, oh, $3 million. Jerry Ritieni bought a bunch of lottery tickets in July and stuffed them in the truck's center console rather than his pocket "for some odd reason," he tells Newsday. Looking for his keys one day, he stumbled on the tickets and went back to the office to check the numbers online. "I think I won the Lotto," he told an employee. "Could you check the numbers for me?" Sure enough, he'd beaten 1-in-47 million odds and won $2.9 million with the New York Lottery, the New York Post reports.

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The 47-year-old admits his "jaw dropped," but "it’s not life-changing money, it’s life-easier money," he tells CBS New York. "It would’ve been nice if it had been $300 million, but it is what it is." The father of two can now opt for 26 annual payments or a single $1.9 million payout, once the lottery validates the ticket and checks his background. One thing's already decided, however: "My only plan is to secure my kids’ future," he says. "My daughter's college is set, my son's college is set, weddings are taken care of. ... I'm old-school Italian. Your children come before you." (Read about 17 siblings who will split a $20 million jackpot.)

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