Rochester, N.Y.- Our area’s two newest millionaires received their winnings from the New York State Lottery Thursday.
Gail Cappella, of Rochester, won the $16.5 million dollar jackpot from the Lotto drawing last month. She started her Lotto subscription 16 years ago, but says she rarely checked her numbers to see if she won a prize.
"I thought someone was playing a practical joke on me," explained Cappella. "I was surrounded by my co-workers when they called and really didn't know how to react. I rarely check my numbers, so I'm glad they called with the good news."
She picked the lump sum payment and says winning the money will allow her to retire comfortably and help out her children. She says winning is bittersweet because she lost her husband one year ago and he was the one who picked the winning numbers.
She isn't sure what she's going to do with the money just yet, but she does know she wants to use some of it to set up a scholarship for students affected by cancer. Cappella's husband died of cancer and says the scholarship would be a good way to honor him.
Dorothy West, of Rochester, is our area’s other winner. She won a million dollars from the Lottery's new Prism Payout scratch-off game.
"I really like the bright colors on the ticket," explained West. "I knew right away it was a million dollar winner and hid the ticket in a cupboard overnight. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep that night!"
She bought the winning ticket at Sunset Lanes on Chili Avenue.
West's husband, Mert, is a Kodak retiree and the couple plans on using some of the money to help pay for health insurance once their benefits are dropped at the end of the year.
Both women say they will continue to work for now.