It was the anniversary gift that will keep on giving literally.
Patricia and Daniel Parsons of Bethlehem won $10 million with a $20 instant scratch-off ticket. They were presented with a check Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Hannaford Supermarket in Delmar where Parsons bought the ticket for her husband as a last-minute gift for their 17th wedding anniversary.
According to the New York State Lotto, the couple opted to split the prize evenly, which works out to an initial payment each of $80,000, or $54,520 after taxes. The Parsons will then each receive quarterly net payments of $47,297 for a guaranteed 20 years.
The magic number that let them know of their winnings was the number 17, which corresponds to the number of years they have been married and the date that Parsons bought the ticket: Jan. 17.
Patti, as she’s known around town and at the Albany County Executive’s Office where she works, went to Hannaford to buy a chicken diner, but once she discovered they were sold out something else caught her eye.
I was picking up a few things at the store on the day of our anniversary and wanted to buy a fun present for Dan,` she said. `I saw the Win for Life Spectacular ticket and said, `That’s perfect.`
At an impromptu press conference at the local supermarket, dozens of media members gathered to catch a glimpse of the couple and their newly minted oversized check for $10 million.
Parsons said she `couldn’t believe it` when she saw the matching number with the word `Life` under it. She asked her husband what it meant at their Dumbarton Drive home.
`It means you can retire now if you want to,` Dan Parsons joked at the press conference.
He said he was planning to retire during the check presentation at Delaware Plaza but that Patti hasn’t made up her mind. He’s a car salesman for Capital Cities Imported Cars.
Dan Parsons said they couple will pay off some bills, put some money aside for their daughter’s college and then take a vacation.
`We’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii and Europe,` he said. `Now we can do both.`
Patti Parsons, 52, has been active in local politics, running for offices in Bethlehem in the past and serving a brief stint as the town’s court clerk.
`I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself,` Parsons said in a release statement. `The ironic part of all of this is the number we matched, 17, is also our anniversary date as well as the day I bought the ticket. I sure know what my lucky number is now.`
The last Albany County lottery millionaire winner was Gary Owens of Ravena, who won on the Win For Life Spectacular ticket in April of 2008. The Parsons are the first millionaire winners of 2009.
Albany County Executive Michael Breslin was on hand and said he hoped they wouldn’t lose Parsons, but he wished her and her family well. Bethlehem Supervisor Jack Cunningham was also there to help present the check and joked, `Patti, I hope you know your home assessment has just gone up.`
Along with other local well-wishers and onlookers, Hannaford Manager Michael Price said it was an honor to see a local customer hit the big time at his store.
`We’re all really excited for them,` he said.“