Twenty-one-year-old Leanette Pizarro of Syracuse was eating dinner with her mother on September 18 when she remembered the Lottery scratch-off game she had put aside for later.
According to a news release from the New York State Gaming Commission:
The young job seeker scratched the ticket and saw a match on the number 10 in one of the game’s play areas, earning her a guaranteed $1,500 A Week For Life or at least $1,500,000.
Speaking through an interpreter, Pizarro said, “My mother and I were very excited to find out I was a millionaire.”
A native of Puerto Rico, Pizarro said she bought her life-changing ticket at the Syracuse Best Market on East Fayette Street in Syracuse. When asked why she chose the $1,500 A Week For Life ticket over all the other scratch-off games for sale at the neighborhood store, Pizarro replied simply, “It caught my attention.”
Pizarro opted to receive her $1,500 A Week For Life prize in 20 annual installments to reach the $1,500,000 minimum guaranteed payout. Once that threshold has been met, the 21-year-old winner will continue to receive an annual check totaling $78,000 (net $51,600) for life.
Pizarro said she planned to use the windfall to invest in a family business and take a vacation with her mother