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Oksana Zaharov's Wrong Lottery Ticket Pays Her $5 Million – as Powerball, Mega Millions Grow

Image: Oksana Zaharov's Wrong Lottery Ticket Pays Her $5 Million  –  as Powerball, Mega Millions Grow
Oksana Zahorov after cashing in her bookmark. (NY Lottery/NYS Gaming Commission)

By    |   Thursday, 04 January 2018 07:59 AM

After a clerk handed Oksana Zahorov the "wrong" lottery ticket, the New Jersey mother paid for it anyway, used it as a bookmark for a couple of weeks, and only then scratched it off and found she'd won $5 million. Lottery officials had to convince her it wasn't fake.

Zahorov told lottery officials that while at a Manhattan convenience store, she asked the clerk for a $1 scratch-off ticket, USA Today reported. Instead, the clerk handed her a $10 Set for Life lottery scratch-off ticket.

"When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad, so I decided to just go ahead and buy it," Zaharov said, per the New York Lottery website. "I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it."

Zaharov, 46, told lottery officials she was initially suspicious about the $5 million result of the lottery ticket because "I never win anything."

"I was sure the ticket was fake," Zaharov told the New York Lottery. "It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real."

The New Lottery reported that Zaharov decided to receive her $5 million in 19 annual payments of $260,000, or $172,068 after taxes, along with one additional payment of $60,000, or $39,708 after taxes.

Zaharov told lottery officials that her children will now have a "loan-free college education," and a family vacation in the Bahamas.

While the scratch-off ticket paid off big for Zaharov, millions are waiting for the results of the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots, which have now grown to $460 million and $418 million, respectively.

Powerball will draw on Wednesday after no one matched its numbers of 28-36-41-51-58 with the Powerball 24 last Saturday. The Powerball cash option is $291 million. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.

No one matched the Mega Millions numbers 1-42-47-64-70, and Mega ball 22 on Tuesday. That game will have its next drawing on Friday. The Mega Millions cash option is $261 million. Odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot stand at 1 in 302,575,350.

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A New Jersey mother's "wrong" lottery ticket turned out to be worth $5 million.
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Thursday, 04 January 2018 07:59 AM
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