-- A New York woman who went in to a grocery store to buy her husband his favorite kind of ice cream cake walked out a multimillionaire, thanks to a lottery ticket.
Darlene Smith of Valhalla Wednesday accepted her ceremonial check for $3 million at the same Stop & Shop where she purchased her winning Instant Millionaire scratch-off ticket last month.
“I almost walked away from the machine and didn’t buy the ticket,” Smith said of her Feb. 15 visit to the store, according to lottery officials. “I went to the Stop & Shop to buy my husband’s favorite ice cream cake and decided to buy a couple Lottery tickets from the vending machine.
“The gentleman ahead of me was taking a long time so I walked away and picked up a loaf of bread,” she said. “When I walked past the machine he was gone so I bought my tickets.”
Smith, a 27-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service, says she claimed the ticket that same day, not long after she realized she had won, because, “My husband didn’t want to hang onto it for long.”
Smith is still deciding how she would like to receive her prize, choosing between either a $2.36 million lump prize that would net her $1.56 million after withholdings, or 20 annual payments of $150,000, according to New York Lottery officials.
One person in Smith’s family, her son, reportedly already has his eyes on the winnings, asking his mom for a BMW.
“I said, 'Yeah, kid, yeah right,'” Smith said Wednesday, according to The Journal News. "He doesn't have a driver license yet.
“I honestly don’t know how I will spend the money,” Smith told lottery officials. “I’m still thinking about that, but I do know I want to be smart about it.”