A spur-of-the-moment lottery purchase landed a North Jersey mother of two a $5 million prize last week.
Oksana Zaharov, 46, was shopping in Manhattan when she decided to buy a $1 scratch-off ticket. The clerk handed her a $10 “Set For Life” ticket by mistake.
“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket, I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” Zaharov said in a release from the New York Lottery. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple of weeks before I decided to scratch it.”
When she did get around to scratching it, Zarahov at first didn’t believe she’d won.
“I never win anything,” she said. “I was sure the ticket was fake.”
Now, Zaharov will receive a minimum of a guaranteed $5 million over the course of 20 years, distributed over 19 payments of $260,000, or $172,068 after taxes, then one payment of $60,000 or $39,708 after taxes.
After that, she’ll receive $172,068 annually for the rest of her life.
While Zaharov said she plans to splurge on a big family vacation to the Bahamas, she wants her children to benefit from her good luck.
“They will have a loan-free college education,” she said.