Looking slightly overwhelmed by the small media circus going on around her, Halina Jozwik of West Hempstead graciously accepted the New York Lottery’s check for $7,000,000 in exchange for her winning ticket at the 7-Eleven on Hempstead Turnpike and Garden City Blvd. in West Hempstead on April 5.
“I’m so happy it went to someone in the town,” said 7-Eleven owner, Luann Viglione. “But who knows how much longer she’ll be here now,” she added with a smile.
Jozwik, 72, is a retired seamstress who purchased the $25 scratch off ticket, part of the New York Millions game, from a vending machine in the store. She was with her husband, Ronnie, of 53 years, at the time. “I gave the ticket to my husband to scratch off in the car as I drank my coffee,” said Jozwik. “He saw a match on number 28, but didn’t scratch off the prize amount.”
When he later did, he thought he won $7,000 but then saw more zeroes. The couple thought it might be a fake ticket, so they consulted their son, Ted, a C.P.A., and asked him to stop by after work. “They never said anything about the ticket. I took them a while to bring it up after I got there.”
Jozwik, who has lived in West Hempstead for more than 40 years and raised two children there, chose to receive her money in one lump sum payment of $4,632,600 after the required holdings.
So what does she plan to do with all that the money? “Well, I have a family. Maybe we’ll take a cruise.”