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New York convenience store sells winning Mega Millions ticket worth $319 million

The 116-year-old shop in Albany will receive $10,000 for selling the winning ticket. The winner has yet to step forward.

March 26, 2011|By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
  • Steve Gallucci posts the good news in the window of Coulson's News Center in Albany, N.Y., where the winning Mega Millions ticket was sold.
Steve Gallucci posts the good news in the window of Coulson's News… (Mike Groll / Associated…)

Just before opening his convenience store Saturday morning in Albany, N.Y., Steve Gallucci was met at the front door by a reporter with big news: Gallucci's shop had sold the lone winning ticket for the $319 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, among the largest ever.

So like any lotto dreamer, Gallucci checked the two tickets he had bought from his store. Then he double-checked. No luck.

"Well, I know for sure now it wasn't me," he said with a chuckle. But Gallucci won't walk away empty-handed. His will be awarded $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.

The winner had not come forward by Saturday night, but lottery officials confirmed that the ticket was purchased at Coulson's News Center, which sits just blocks from the New York State Capitol building.

The store itself boasts a big number. It's been selling newspapers and snacks for 116 years. Gallucci's grandfather Bill Coulson first opened the doors in 1895.

The odds of winning the jackpot were approximately 1 in 176 million, according to lottery officials. The winner will be able to choose from the full jackpot in 26 annual payments of about $12 million, or a one-time cash option of about $198.2 million.

As for his own winning, Gallucci said he was investing it in the family store. "When you are a small business, $10,000 helps out a lot."

stephen.ceasar@latimes.com

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