Meet New York's newest millionaires, lucky lotto winners

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 05:20PM
Lauren Glassberg has the latest details on the new millionaires.


NEW YORK - Meet the newest millionaires in New York State.

The state lottery handed out oversized checks amounting to $16 million among the winners.

Ellie Krepela and Chris Finno have been dating a long time.

"They started playing the lottery to put a little spark in their relationship," said Yolanda Vega, Lottery Spokeswoman.

That spark ignited when the Sayville couple bought a winning lotto ticket when they stopped for gas.

"She pulled out $5 too much, so instead of taking that extra $5 and putting it back in her wallet, she said let it ride," Finno said.

That lotto ticket rode right into $7.7 million or a net amount of $3.4 million for their trust called Fur Babies Forever, and now the dental worker and her contractor boyfriend can tie the knot with ease.

"I imagine I can spend a few more bucks on a ring and of course give her the wedding of her dreams," Finno said.

Lukasz Solis is an NYPD officer who got lucky with a $10 Wonka Golden Ticket scratch off he bought in Far Rockaway.

He won the $3 million prize and will collect it in 20-annual payments for $150,000.

A school firefighter from Williamsburg had already won $20,000 in the lottery, but this time 51-year-old Danny Vargas won a lot more with his Mega Millions ticket when he bought a megaplier.

The megaplier for that day, which ranges from 2-5, was 3, and that is "$3 million," Vargas said.

Finally, Hernando Fleites Padilla of Washington Heights came to the United States from Cuba 21 years ago, and at 65 he was hoping to retire from his building porter job.

He spontaneously bought a scratch off and won $2,500 a week for life.

He's taking the lump sum that's a bit more than $1.2 million. His nephew described his next move.

"He plans to buy a house for his daughter that he has promised, and take a long vacation," his nephew said.

He will also likely stop working and never look back.
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