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Lottery officials present Hammond winner with $2 million check

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OGDENSBURG — Hey, you never know.

That’s what retired cafeteria worker Joyce Wood, 74, thought when she decided to purchase what was only her second Powerball ticket in 15 years.

Her impulse buy paid off. Mrs. Wood, of Hammond, won $2 million when she matched five of the six winning Powerball numbers last month.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said Thursday when she was presented her prize by the New York State Lottery. “I thought it was a mistake.”

A day before the drawing on May 21, Mrs. Wood had just cashed in a Powerball ticket worth $107 that she purchased at Price Chopper in Ogdensburg. She decided to push her luck and buy another ticket. The Price Chopper lottery machine was out of order, so she went to Kinney Drugs, 700 Canton St.

She saw that the Powerball jackpot was $40 million and bought five sets of Quick Pick numbers with the “Power Play” option.

When she checked the numbers on the state lottery’s website the next day, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“I thought I was having a heart attack,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine I had won that much money.”

Mrs. Wood matched five of the winning numbers of the May 22 drawing: 9, 31, 35, 41 and 57.

Nobody got all six numbers, including the Powerball number of 26, to win the $40 million jackpot.

Of the $2 million, the federal government will withhold 25 percent in taxes, while the state will withhold 8.82 percent.

Mrs. Wood will receive her one lump-sum Powerball prize of $1,323,600 within three days of Thursday’s check presentation. Thursday’s oversized, ceremonial check was presented by New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega at the Kinney store where Mrs. Wood bought the winning ticket.

Not bad for a woman who had not played the lottery more than once before in more than 15 years.

“I think I’ll start playing more often now,” Mrs. Wood said.

Mrs. Wood and her husband, Lynn, who have been married 58 years, split their time between their homes in Hammond and Florida. They have seven children, 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Wood said she and her family will take their time to determine what to do with the money.

“We have a big family. I am sure we’ll find a place for it,” she said.

But she said her phone is ringing a lot these days with all kinds of offers.

“We got a call from someone asking if we wanted to invest in an oil well,” she said.

Mrs. Wood says the increased attention and phone calls are a small price to pay for such a big payout.

“It’s a nice problem to have,” she said.

The lottery ticket was sold by store cashier Angela Wakefield, who was not present at the check presentation.

According to the state lottery website, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175,223,510.

The odds of winning second prize are one in 5,153,633.

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