New York Lottery awards $26.6 million in prize checks to 3 big winners

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Three lucky New Yorkers came forward to receive their winnings Wednesday as they became the state's newest lottery millionaires.

The New York Lottery distributed $26.6 million in prize checks at its customer service center in Manhattan.

The biggest prize went to 42-year-old Kimberly To-Mejia of Staten Island, who was the sole winner of the $11.6 million jackpot from the September 22 Lotto drawing.

She said she normally plays Powerball and Mega Millions but playing a different game paid off in a big way.

"I wasn't winning anything on Powerball or Mega Millions, so I decided to give Lotto a try," said To-Mejia. "I checked my ticket a few weeks after the drawing and couldn't believe my eyes!"

Choosing to receive her prize as a one-time lump sum payment, her net check totaled about $4.7 million.

To-Mejia said she would use the money to take care of her children and take a long European vacation.

The winning ticket was purchased at the 86th Street Grocery and Snacks in Brooklyn.

Another winner was Janet Pruitt from Brooklyn, who won $75 on some Lottery scratch-off tickets and decided to use the winnings to buy two more $350,000,000 Cash Spectacular tickets.

One of those tickets contained the jackpot winning combination, earning Pruitt $10 million. Pruitt will receive a net check totaling $6,330,400 after required withholdings.

She said she will use some of the money to take her family to Africa.

Pruitt purchased her ticket at the Lex Newsstand on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.

33-year-old Grigoriy Shuba from Brooklyn won the $5 million top prize on the Set for Life scratch-off game.

Shuba purchased his ticket at Quentin Grocery at 1690 East 16th Street in Brooklyn.

He said he is still in shock and has not yet decided how to spend his winnings.

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