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January 15, 2016
Christmas came a little early for Rigoberto Mejia of Staten Island, who won $7,000,000 on the New York Lottery’s$7,000,000 Golden Ticket scratch-off game just two days before Christmas. 
Mejia, the owner of a construction company, said he plays different New York Lottery scratch-off games all the time. Mejia said, “I always buy the tickets with the biggest prizes.” 
On November 30, Mejia bought his winning ticket while on his lunch hour. He said, “I scratched off all the numbers and saw a match on the number 16, so I scratched off the prize and saw it was a $7,000,000 win. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I got it!’” 
Mejia went back to work and thought about how he would tell his wife, Josephina, about his big win. 
“I got home and told her that I had something serious to talk about,” he said. Once he showed her the ticket, he said they “kept looking at the ticket for a couple of hours and asking themselves, ‘Can this be real?’” 
Mejia said he’d like to use a portion of his prize to grow his business “from a small construction company to a much bigger one.” He also plans to buy a home and provide a better life for his family. 
Mejia purchased his ticket at Bagels on the Island at 1180 Forest Avenue in Staten Island. He claimed his jackpot prize on December 2 at the Lottery’s Plainview Customer Service Center. He chose to receive his prize as a one-time lump sum payment totaling $4,361,280 after required withholdings. 
He is the 135th New Yorker to claim a New York Lottery prize of $1,000,000 or more so far this year. 
The New York Lottery contributed $1,265,576,988.95 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts in New York City during fiscal year 2014-15. 
About the New York Lottery 
The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.11 billion in fiscal year 2014-2015 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents 14 percent of total state education aid to local school districts. 
New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district’s size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.

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