A New Jersey mom won $5 million because a cashier misunderstood her request for a scratch-off ticket.
Oksana Zaharov, 46, asked a clerk at a Manhattan convenience store for a $1 scratch-off ticket, but instead was given a $10 Set for Life ticket, the New York Lottery announced last week.
“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” Zaharov said in a statement. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.”
The mistake turned into millions. She was recognized as a winner Nov. 1, New York State Gaming Commission spokesperson Brad Maione said.
Zaharov will receive her winnings in 19 annual payments of $260,000, and an additional payment of $60,000. Then, she'll continue to receive an annual net payment of $172,068 for the rest of her life, according to the lottery.
She told the lottery her children will now have a "loan-free college education," and a family vacation in the Bahamas.