Most people would consider Friday the 13th to be the most unluckiest day of the year. Going forward Nora Murphy will buck those beliefs as the New Hyde Park resident won $10 million playing a lottery scratch-off game.
Murphy had been following her normal routine that September day, doing her laundry at the laundromat on Hillside Avenue when she ventured next door to the Lakeville Pharmacy to purchase milk and play Take 5. However, instead of picking her normal numbers, a new ticket caught her eye – the $20 “$10,000 a Week for Life” scratch-off because “I may have a chance on being set for life,” she said at a press conference outside the pharmacy Thursday morning.
“I scratched all the numbers off and then I waited to see how many matching numbers I had and realized I only had one, so then I scratched the one and only and realized I had something good here,” she said. “I don’t ever see the word ‘life’ on a ticket so the lady wanted to know if she could scan it for me and I said ‘no, I’ll put it under the barcode (scanner) and the barcode told me to sign the back of my ticket and report to the lottery office so, I borrowed a pen.”
Murphy then went to the back of the store and made two photocopies of the ticket and then headed back to the laundromat, put her clothes in the dryer and went to the Lottery office on Zeckendorf Boulevard in Garden City to claim her winnings.
“It was a big shocking. I just knew that I had to not lose what I had in my hand,” she said. Before this, Murphy, who has only lived in New Hyde Park “a few years” moving from New York City, had been playing “gradually” with Take 5 and “Win for Life” and other scratch-off games.
“What that could have meant I really didn’t know, but I knew it was going to be something good, something awesome,” she said of contemplating receiving $10,000 a week. Murphy opted for a lump sum of $5,090,237, but says she has no firm plans for the winnings.
“Because this is such a blessing, I really have to think it all through,” she said. In a release she said that she would want to take a trip to Ireland to see friends. “It’s very possible in the near future.”
Grant Derwin has never seen a lottery win this big in his 17 years as manage of the pharmacy, even when the business existed on the corner more than 20 years ago before moving into the small strip mall near P.C. Richards.
“We had a $10,000 Mega Million winner two days later,” he said, noting several $1,000 to $10,000 winners, but dismissed that more winners come from smaller, independently-owned stores rather than bigger chains. “it’s just luck; they just send you the batch of tickets... it’s just the luck of where it goes to.”
Elaine Colatosti, who has lived in the unincorporated area of New Hyde Park since 1982 and has worked at the pharmacy for 22 years, was the one who sold Murphy the winning ticket.
“It was exciting,” she said, noting her own lotto experiences usually revolve around a $1-$2 ticket. “She was so nervous, she said ‘I think I won, I think I won.’ I went around, we looked at the ticket together and she’s the big winner. We’re always happy to see a winner.”