A homemaker from Staten Island, New York, is now a $169 million jackpot winner after her husband used an extra dollar to purchase a $1 Mega Millions ticket that proved to be a winner.
Nancy Viola told New York Lottery officials that she asked her husband to stop for Powerball tickets last January when the Powerball jackpot was approaching $1 billion.
Her husband bought $20 worth of Powerball tickets at a Staten Island convenience store and then used an extra dollar to purchase a Mega Millions ticket.
“He had one dollar left in his pocket and here’s the $1,” Viola said at a press conference yesterday, pointing to her $169 million check. “Dollar and a dream, right?"
Viola, who could not be reached by ABC News, told lottery officials she “almost had a heart attack” when she saw the next morning that her ticket was a winner.
“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I asked my husband to come over to look. He just kept looking at the screen three or four times, and he was in shock too,” she said, according to the New York Lottery.
Viola created a limited liability company to secure her winnings. She also chose to receive her Mega Millions money in a lump sum, giving her a total of $64,796,160 after taxes, according to lottery officials.
“It’s surreal, but exciting and wonderful at the same time,” Viola said. “I’ve thought about my plans, and I want to make some investments and just be secure for the future.”
The current Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $415 million, or $286 million in cash, making it the third largest jackpot in the game’s history, according to lottery officials. The next drawing will take place tonight at 11 p.m. ET.