Valhalla woman picks up birthday cake, $3 million scratch off from Stop & Shop

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Joe Torres has the story. (WABC)

A Valhalla woman left a White Plains Stop & Shop with more than just the last-minute birthday cake she had stopped for.

Darlene Smith was picking up her husband's favorite ice cream cake when she decided to wait in line at a lottery machine to buy a $10 Instant Millionaire ticket. It wound up being a good decision.

"I almost walked away from the machine and didn't buy the ticket," she said. "The gentleman ahead of me was taking a long time, so I walked away and picked up a loaf of bread. When I walked past the machine, he was gone. So I bought my tickets."

Then, her life changed forever, as she scratched the ticket to reveal it was worth a whopping $3 million.

"We were afraid to jump up and down," she said. "We were almost silent. We couldn't believe it. We could not believe it. I was afraid to believe it."

So to clear up the disbelief, she double-checked the ticket with the first person she could find, her 15-year-old son Jason.

"We didn't want to get too excited because we weren't sure if it was real yet," he said. "And we wanted to wait until it was confirmed."

While Darlene Smith has no plans to quit her job of 27 years as a postal worker, young Jason has certainly ventured into fantasyland.

"He says, 'Oh, I want a BMW,'" Darlene Smith said. "I said, yeah right, kid. He doesn't even have a license yet."

Smith has yet to decide on how she would like to receive her $3 million prize. She can elect to take a lump sum of $2,360,000, netting her $1,561,848 after taxes. She also has the option of receiving 20 annual payments of $150,000 (net $99,270).

"I honestly don't know how I will spend the money," said Smith, a 27-year veteran with the U.S. Postal Service. "I'm stilling thinking about that, but I do know I want to be smart about it."
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