A New Jersey woman is now counting her lucky stars after a store clerk’s mistake and her own kind-hearted decision not to point it out made her a millionaire.
Oksana Zarahov, a 46-year-old mother of two from Edgewater in Bergen County, won the lottery after deciding to buy a $1 scratch-off New York Lottery ticket while shopping in Manhattan.
The store clerk accidentally handed her a $10 Set for Life ticket, which promises up to $5,000 a week for the rest of a winner’s life.
“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” Zaharov told lottery officials. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.”
When Zaharov did eventually scratch the ticket, she was sceptical, she said.
“I never win anything. I was sure the ticket was fake,” Zaharov said. “It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.”
For the next 19 years, Zaharov will receive annual payments of $260,000 (net $172,068) and one additional payment of $60,000 (net $39,708). She’ll then continue to receive an annual net payment of $172,068 for the rest of her life.
Zaharov said she plans to take her family on a vacation to the Bahamas, but she’s most excited by the assurance that her children will be able to have a loan-free college education.