New York Family Claims $35,000,000 Mega Millions Jackpot

RELEASE DATE: 6/18/2009

For 77-year-old Abraham Silverbush of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the morning of May 30, 2009 began with a routine call to his local New York Lottery hotline to check the winning numbers from the previous night’s Mega Millions drawing worth $35,000,000. The rest of the day and every day since have been far from ordinary for Silverbush, his wife and their five children as the family absorbed the news they were the sole winners of the $35,000,000 Mega prize.

“All my life I have worked multiple jobs to support my family,” said Abraham, the owner of the Silverbush Upholstery Shop in Syracuse. “My first reaction was this cannot be true. I still don’t really believe it is true.”

Silverbush said he and his wife, Celia, routinely pooled their money with their four sons and one daughter to purchase Lottery tickets for the fun of it, using a “secret system” to select the numbers played. But he admitted, this is the first time his “system” ever yielded a return of this magnitude.

“Twenty-two thousand dollars was the most we’ve ever won in the past,” said the elder Silverbush. “Far from $35,000,000.”

Silverbush purchased the family’s $35,000,000 winning Mega Millions ticket at Chase’s Cigar Store on James St. in Eastwood on the morning of the May 29th drawing. The family claimed their prize at the Lottery’s Syracuse Customer Service Center on June 8, 2009; opting to receive one lump sum payment totaling $22,249,691, less required tax withholdings. The family will net $14,691,471.

“I guess you could say the family that plays together gets paid together,” said Bradley Silverbush, a practicing Manhattan attorney and the first Silverbush sibling to learn of their parent’s Mega fortune.  “Our parents are hard working people who taught their children great values. We have been fortunate all along.”

In addition to Bradley, 53, other members of the Silverbush Family Partnership to share the $35,000,000 cash prize include:
* Abraham Silverbush, 77, Syracuse business owner and “jack of all trades” 
* Celia Silverbush, 73, a 4th grade teacher at the Franklin Magnet School of Arts in Syracuse
* Mark Silverbush, 47, an assistant director at the LaSalle School for Boys in Albany
* Jeffrey Silverbush, 44, an attorney now living in New York City
* Bnai Silverbush, 37, also a practicing attorney in Syracuse
* Edward “ER” Silverbush, 31, a marketing consultant in Syracuse

So what does the Silverbush Family plan to do with a $35,000,000 windfall?  “Family trips and college tuitions” top the list for most family members. “We already made our first purchase as a group,” said Abraham, the family patriarch. “We bought a fireproof safe to store the ticket while we decided what to do next.”

In addition to paying the $35,000,000 prize to the Silverbush Family Partnership, the Lottery also awarded a $10,000 bonus to Chase’s Cigar Store for selling a jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket.

The New York Lottery contributed nearly $2.54 billion in fiscal year 2008-09 to help support education in New York State, over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts. The Lottery’s ongoing commitment to education also includes the awarding of more than 1,100 Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Scholarships annually to high school students pursuing their higher education in New York State. Since 1999, the Lottery has awarded more than 11,500 scholarships representing a total commitment of almost $50 million. The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, earning over $36.7 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago.