New York Family Collects $64,000,000 Mega Millions Jackpot

Six others from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx collect $9,000,000 in Lottery Cash Prizes

New York Lottery Draw Team Member Yolanda Vega today teamed up with Lottery Jackpot Announcer Ralph Buckley to award a total of $73,000,000 in cash prizes to New York City’s newest Lottery millionaires. Today’s introductions included a family of new Mega Millionaires from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Bay Ridge Mega Millions Winners Owe Their Good Fortune to Mom’s Itchy Palm

Mary Shammas was riding the bus home from a doctor’s appointment on the morning of May 25, 2010 when her left palm started to itch. The “semi-superstitious” former Wall Street receptionist decided it was a sign she couldn’t ignore.

“I got off the bus and decided to buy a Lottery ticket for that night’s Mega Millions drawing,” said the 73-year-old mother of four. “I used to play the Lottery a lot but haven’t been able to afford it in recent years,” she said. “But, luckily I still carry all my old playcards in my purse and that’s what I used to buy some tickets for that night’s drawing.”

Shammas purchased five sets of numbers for $5 and opted to receive the jackpot as a lump sum. “I just handed (the clerk) my playcard with all my old numbers,” she said. “The first five numbers - 5  14  17  19  24 - are all family birthdays. The last number, the Mega Ball, was 25 like Christmas Day, my favorite holiday.”

Shammas said she saw the winning numbers from that evening’s Mega Millions drawing scroll across her TV screen shortly after 11 p.m. and knew right away they were all “her” numbers. “I thought I was dreaming,” she said. “I played those numbers for years and then to play them again on a whim and see them actually come up…that’s unreal.”

Shammas claimed her $64,000,000 winning ticket with her extended family the following day. Winners to receive a share of the $42,049,934 lump sum payment include:

* Mary Shammas of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
* Joseph Shammas, a restaurant owner from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
* Doreen (Shammas) Donnelly, an accountant from Greenwood Lake, Orange County
* Denise (Shammas) Large, a medical facility administrator from Matawan, New Jersey
* Richard Shammas, a construction company owner from Garden City, Long Island
* Essa Jallad, a retiree from the NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities from Tappan, Rockland County

Mary Shammas said she always had a plan for how to spend a jackpot win of $1,000,000 or more, but never thought she would need it. “I always said I would help my kids if I came into money,” she said. “Now that they are grown, I have grandchildren and great grandchildren to take care of. It all works out in the end.”

Mary Shammas purchased her winning ticket at the Lucky Lotto store at 3rd Ave. in Brooklyn. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling a jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket.

This latest win marks the 21st time a New Yorker has won or shared a Mega Millions jackpot worth $10,000,000 or more since New York joined the multi-state game in 2002. Other New York winners include:

* August 27, 2002 - $108 million – Operations 11 Group
* November 19, 2002 - $16 million – Lucky 16 Group
* December 24, 2002 - $68 million – Unclaimed, purchased in Brooklyn
* April 25, 2003 - $46 million – Unclaimed, purchased in Brooklyn
* February 11, 2003 - $128 million – Phin Suy of Brooklyn
* July 11, 2003 - $34 million – Henrietta Henderson of Uniondale
* May 7, 2004 - $67 million – The Penello Family of Rockaway Beach
* July 27, 2004 - $10 million – The Zielinski Family of Staten Island
* November 19, 2004 - $149 million – Juan Rodriguez of Richmond Hills
* August 1, 2006 – $31 million – Unclaimed, purchased in Queens 
* September 19, 2006 - $12 million – Jose Santiago Morales Sanchez
* April 6, 2007 - $105 million – Gilberto Bueno of Queens
* November 2, 2007 - $75 Million – W.J. Albertson of Mahopac Falls
* May 23, 2008 - $17 Million (50% share) – Edward & Ellen Hopper of Tompkins Cove
* January 20, 2009 - $22 Million – Janet Alnwick of Merrick
* March 19, 2009 - $27 Million – Isabel A. Zelaya of Wyandanch
* May 29, 2009 - $36 Million – Silverbush Family of Syracuse
* July 7, 2009 - $133 Million – Aubrey Boyce of Kew Gardens
* August 28, 2009 - $336 Million (50% share) – James Groves of the Bronx
* December 22, 2009 - $165 Million – The Morrisons of Miller Place

The Winning Streak Continues Across Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx
In addition to the $64,000,000 Mega Millions prize check awarded to the Shammas Family of Bay Ridge, the Lottery also awarded $9,000,000 in Lottery prize checks to three other New York City Lottery players from Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens.

The Lottery players who received a prize check valued at $1,000,000 include:

* Wei Ping Huang of Brooklyn, who won the top prize on the Silver 6’s instant game. The 53-year-old Huang is employed as a store clerk in midtown Manhattan. He purchased his winning ticket at the United Health Pharmacy on Elizabeth Street in the City. Like most $1,000,000 Lottery instant game winners, Huang will receive his prize as $50,000 a year for 20 years. His annual net check will total $31,191.

* Gerard Arzberger of Mill Basin, Brooklyn who won $1,000,000 on the Welcome Back to Fabulous Las Vegas instant ticket. The 66-year-old print shop manage