SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Lottery presented $1 million prize checks to three lucky winners on Tuesday who bought their winning tickets at three different Stewart's Shops in the Capital Region.
The first winner is Douglas Adams, of Monroe NY. He was working at his honey bee farm in Cobleskill on September 29th when he stopped into Stewart's, on 391 W Main Street, for a cup of coffee and what turned out to be a $1,000,000 Powerball second prize ticket from that evening's drawing.
Adams says he usually plays Mega Millions, but the higher Powerball jackpot convinced him to switch games that day. When he went to check his ticket at Stewart's the machine said it was a big winner. Adams did not know he was $1,000,000 richer until another customer told him the store had sold a winning ticket.
Adams will receive a net check totaling $661,800 after required withholdings. Adams said he does not have plans for the money yet, but is happy knowing now he can pay off his mortgage.
The second winner, 45-year-old Diane Staples of Mechanicville, was buying milk at Stewart's at 501 Route 9 in Saratoga Springs on September 22nd when she decided to purchase a Powerball ticket. Staples always plays a set of numbers that include birthdays and other special occasions, but bought a Quick Pick as well. The Quick Pick turned out to be a $1,000,000 winner from that night's Powerball drawing.
Staples explained that she doesn't usually think about checking her tickets right away. She only checked her numbers after receiving a call from her boyfriend about a sign that was posted at Stewarts celebrating a $1,000,000 winner. "I couldn't believe my eyes," when she checked the numbers on the New York Lottery website, she said.
Staples had her coworkers look at the ticket and they all started "screaming and going nuts." She then called her boyfriend back to share the news. "He thought I was kidding," she said. Staples had to text him a photograph of the ticket before he would believe she had actually won.
Staples will receive a net check totaling $661,800 after required withholdings. She plans to pay off all her bills and take a vacation.
The third winner, 82-year-old Ansel Lyman of Galway, was on his way to visit a friend on September 14th, when he stopped to get a cup of coffee at Stewart's on Route 67 in Amsterdam. Lyman, a retired carpenter, bought four 20x the Bucks scratch-off tickets. He said he only plays the Lottery occasionally, but has been a player "since it started," calling it "a nice diversion." Lyman brought his tickets to a bench outside the store. The first ticket he scratched was the $1,000,000 winner.
He said his first thought after scratching the $1,000,000 winner was, "What am I gonna do with all the money?" After giving it some thought, Lyman decided he'd like to donate to charity and joked that he would upgrade his fast food choices.
The top prize on the 20x the Bucks game is paid as an annuity. Lyman will receive 20 annual payments of $33,090 after required withholdings.