CORTLANDT, N.Y. – Retired Cortlandt Manor postal worker Peter Gee, 59, was announced as the sole winner of $18 million in the New York State Lotto on Thursday at Empire City Casino in Yonkers.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Gee said of winning. “It was like, 'Wow.' If you’ve never felt adrenaline, win the Lotto and you’ll feel adrenaline.”
Gee said that on July 7 he went to the post office on Albany Post Road in Croton-on-Hudson to mail a letter. He asked his wife, Ruth, to go to the deli next door to buy a Lotto ticket, rather than his usual Powerball, with the numbers he'd selected: 6, 10, 19, 22, 37 and 43.
When he realized they had won the jackpot, he told his wife to come over to the computer and showed her the winning slip. “I said, ‘We won the Lotto jackpot,’ and she stepped over and slapped me in the head and said, ‘Don’t lie to me,’ ” he said laughing.
He opted to take the one lump-sum payment of $12.9 million before required tax withholdings, with the net amount he will receive totaling more than $8.5 million.
Gee worked as a U.S. Postal Service employee for 36 years before retiring. He and his wife have no children. When asked whether his wife was retired he said, "No, she’s not yet, but she will be."
Gee was presented a ceremonial oversized check by Yolanda Vega, spokesperson for the New York State Lottery, Thursday morning at Empire City Casino in Yonkers.