By Allison Collins
MASONVILLE – Sidney resident Donald Savastano, 51, played the New York State Lottery’s holiday-themed “Merry Millionaire” ticket “on a whim” Saturday, Dec. 9 and scratched his way to a million-dollar win.
Savastano, a self-employed carpenter in Delaware County, was presented with the outsized check by NYS Lottery spokeswoman Yolanda Vega Wednesday, Jan. 3 at the Masonville Mirabito, located at 15503 state Rte. 8, where he purchased the ticket. After state-mandated taxes, Savastano’s winnings totaled $661,800. He was the 97th NYS Lottery player to win a prize of $1 million or more in 2017.
“I just played it on a whim,” Savastano said Wednesday. “I’m not very big into the holiday tickets … I just wanted to play it.”
Earlier in the day Dec. 9, Savastano said, he’d purchased a winning $20 ticket. He returned to the Masonville store that evening around 5 p.m. on his way home from work and used the cash-out from that to purchase two 10-dollar “Merry Millionaire” tickets, one of which was the big winner.
“I had a feeling it might have been a winner,” Savastano, who scratched the ticket in his truck, said, “so I went back in to the self-scanner … and I was like, ‘Holy blank, I think I just won a million dollars!’” He added, “I couldn’t believe it.”
Savastano, who has resided in Delaware County for roughly 12 years, said he is a regular customer of the Masonville Mirabito store and a routine scratch-off player. He said, “I buy them wherever.”
Though Savastano said he has purchased “a few” other lottery tickets since, he said, his million-dollar ticket is his biggest win and will definitely alleviate financial stressors.