Empty-handed NYC deli that sold $1M lotto ticket hopes winner shares wealth

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Workers at the Bronx deli that sold a $1 million Mega Millions ticket amid the game’s billion-dollar jackpot hope the local winner returns to share his pot — since their shop doesn’t get any sale bonus.

While New York pays $10,000 to retailers who sell winning jackpot Mega Millions or Powerball tickets, no such perk exists involving lesser winners.

“Hopefully, this new winner will come around, take care of me and the other guys,” said Al, a worker at the New Way Deli in Kingsbridge Heights, where the million-dollar ticket in the billion-dollar game was sold last week.

Al, who declined to share his full name, told The Post that a previous customer won $1 million in Powerball in 2017 and came back after to hand out cash to other deli patrons.

“He came back and blessed everybody. He was giving $500 to random customers, $2,000 to this guy, $5,000 to that guy. He spent around $50,000 just giving money out to people,” Al recalled. “We were the ones who told him he won. He was shaking. The guy didn’t believe it. He said, ‘Don’t play me.’ He came back and blessed everybody.”

The sole winning jackpot ticket in Friday’s $1.34 billion Mega Millions game was sold at the Speedy Café Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Ill., lottery officials have said.

The station will now get $500,000 for selling the ticket, as per Illinois regs.

Al, a worker at the store where the winning lotto ticket was sold in the Bronx.
Tomas E. Gaston
A previous winner went back to the deli and “blessed everybody” with some of this winnings, according to one worker.
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Al said his team is hopeful they’ll strike gold yet by selling a first-place winning ticket involving a big jackpot.

“God rewards those who are honest,” he said. “Hopefully, the third time will be the jackpot. That’s what we want. We want the big one.

“When we hit the jackpot, everybody will be like, ‘This store?’ Come on. We’ll have lines out the door.”

Unlike Illinois, New York requires its lottery winners to publicly identify themselves — though they may opt to collect money through a limited-liability corporation.

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