The New York State Lottery’s Yolanda Vega presented a Bayport couple with a $3 million check Friday at the Bayport for winning the Bonanza scratch-off game jackpot last month.
Margaret and Wallace Bryan claimed their $3 million prize on Jan. 30, netting the couple an annual payout of $150,000 for 20 years. The couple agreed to split the payouts, giving each of them an extra $49,635 a year for the next two decades.
“It took a while to sink in,” Margaret said. “It still doesn’t seem real.”
Margaret said she scratched off the ticket in the car directly after buying it.
“I could see the number 7 was first and it matched the numbers up at the top,” she said. “I scratched the prize and saw the word ‘jackpot’ and nearly fell down because I thought it was a mistake. I scratched it again and triple checked it and said ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it!’"
7-Eleven employee, Sara Bochicchio, 18, of Bayport, unknowingly handed Bryan the winning ticket.
“When she first told me afterward, I couldn’t believe it,” Bochicchio said. “I was never expecting to actually sell someone a winner. It was amazing.”
Margaret, 56, a housekeeping department manager at a Long Island hospital, and Wallace, 56, a self-employed surveyor, plan to take a trip down to Key West, Florida, pay for their children’s weddings and pay off bills with their winnings.
“We’re looking forward to a nice little trip down to Key West,” Margaret said. “It’s like heaven on Earth. But most of all, we’re going to pay bills. It’s something, that with the recent economy, we haven’t been too good at.”
The Bryans have lived in Bayport for about 27 years. Two out of four of their children, Kerry and Craig, are getting married this year. Margaret and Wallace are looking forward to helping pay for the weddings with some of the prize money.
Daughter Jamie Bryan, 24, said she is extremely happy for her parents and is shocked that they won. “I really didn’t believe it,” she said. “My mom had to tell me like 20 times.”
Jamie said although her parents are now millionaires, it’s their money. She still plans to pay off her own student loans from her tuition at Stony Brook University and wishes them the best.
“I don’t know, maybe I’ll go to Key West with them…if they allow me to,” she joked.
Mark Chant from Flushing and Chi Mo from Middle Island were also presented with million-dollar prize checks today for their winning New York State Powerball numbers. Another check was given to Margaret Casey from Sunnyside. She won $1 million in the 20x The Money scratch-off game.