SUFFOLK COUNTY (WABC) -- A mother and daughter from Suffolk County are splitting $7 million in scratch-off winnings after years of pooling their money to buy lottery tickets.
Last month, 82-year-old Marilyn Looney was waiting for a hair appointment when she decided to walk to the nearby Mili Cards and Smoke shop in Selden for some tickets. Looney said she had trouble reading the winning ticket, so she handed it to a clerk for him to check.
"He re-scanned it and jumped five feet in the air," said Looney, a former Estee Lauder employee currently living in Middle Island. "He was very excited for me."
Looney said she took the ticket back to the hair salon and called her daughter, Carol Prevete, a bookkeeper who lives with her husband and four children in Selden.
"She kept saying, 'We won! We Won!,' which didn't really surprise me because she always wins on the scratch-offs," Prevete, 50, said before realizing the amount of her mother's win. "The most we ever shared before this was somewhere around $20,000 to $29,000."
Looney and Prevete opted to split the $25 "$7,000,000 Golden Ticket" top prize 50/50, with each receiving a one-time payment of $3.5 million - net $2.3 million.
New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega presented the pair with their prize check at Mili Cards and Smoke Tuesday morning.
Looney said she plans to use her half of the prize money to buy a home to share with Prevete and her family, which includes a set of 13-year-old triplets, as well as put aside college money and maybe take a trip to Disney World. Prevete said she plans to pay off her current mortgage "and be debt free."
Looney is also sharing the news with her husband, who's in a nursing home.
"And he was holding my hand, and he said, 'I knew I married a winner when I picked you,'" she said.
She is a strong fighter as well as a winner, now in her third bout with breast cancer.
"I always feel there are millions of other women out there that are worse off than I am," she said. "And so I'll beat it again."
And with her luck, she's well on her way.
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