Former NYPD Sergeant Wins $250,000 Mega Million Prize
SCHENECTADY, NY (01/07/2011)(readMedia)-- "This is a big enough jackpot for me," said Rodger O'Gara, 45, of Mineola, Nassau County when he claimed his $250,000 second place Mega Millions prize. O'Gara, a retired sergeant from the New York Police Department, purchased one of the 11 second-prize winning tickets sold in New York for the near-record January 4th Mega Millions drawing.
"I only play when the jackpot gets big," said O'Gara. Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot was the second highest in history; paying out $380,000,000 to two ticket holders from Idaho and Washington. O'Gara matched five of the six numbers drawn, missing the jackpot by just the Mega Ball.
"I was just getting a slice of pizza and ran into a friend. I saw he had Lottery tickets in his hand so I headed next door to buy a few for myself," said O'Gara. He purchased his Quick Pick ticket at Mineola Card & Smoke on Jericho Turnpike in Mineola.
"I checked my numbers on the results board at a gas station and couldn't believe it," said O'Gara who later had the retailer scan his ticket. "The clerk told me I should get that ticket home safe because I had a big winner."
The married father of two plans to use the windfall to pay bills and, "Pay for college for the kids."
Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game with drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays. The odds of winning a second place prize are 1 in 3,904,701. The overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize on a $1 play are 1 in 39.89.
The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $39.3 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago. The Lottery contributed nearly $2.67 billion in fiscal year 2009-2010 to help support education in New York State, which was over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts.
Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district's size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding