Winner Dimitrios Hatzisotiriou with New York Lottery official Yolanda Vega.
A former pizza maker from Greece treated himself to a birthday scratch-off ticket gift, and got the best present ever.
Dimitrios Hatzisotiriou treated himself to some scratch-off tickets on his 73rd birthday while he was waiting, ironically, for the bank to open.
“I was on my way to the bank to pay some bills, but it was closed,” Hatzisotiriou said. “I went to my friend’s liquor store a few storefronts down and played some tickets while I waited for the bank to open.”
Little did he know, he was a few scratch-offs away from becoming a millionaire.
After losing $25 and winning $50, Hatzisotiriou decided to buy one last $10 ticket with the winnings—opting for the “Holiday Millionaire” scratch-off.
“I scratched off the numbers and saw the matching 36s and just started jumping up and down around the store. What a feeling!” the Lake Grove resident said.
This isn’t the first time Hatzisotiriou struck big with the lotto. He won a $56,000 Take 5 prize a few years ago and used the money to buy a new car.
But this time, he plans to fly to Greece to visit his 95-year-old mother he hasn’t seen in 20 years.
The $1 million prize on the “Holiday Millionaire” ticket is paid out as a one-time lump sum payment, according to the New York Gaming Commission.
Hatzisotiriou will walk away with $661,800 after required withholdings.