Playing the New York Lottery every day finally paid off for Vincenzo DiIanne last month to the tune of $1 million dollars.
DiIanne, a 23 year-old Schenectady native, won the $1 million jackpot playing the $5 Instant Millionaire scratch-off game at the Stewart's Shop on Riverview Road in Rexford on Friday, April 20.
DiIanne is the 2000th New Yorker to win a prize of at least $1 million in the lottery's 40-year history.
I didn't believe it at first. It felt like my heart dropped," said DiIanne last week outside the Stewart's where he bought the ticket. "I went up to the lady who sold me the ticket and asked her if it was real, and she said, 'You just won a million dollars.'"
DiIanne plans to keep his job as a specialty pump and compressor salesman for Rolfe Industries in Clifton Park.
"I just think of it as an extra raise every year, I'm still going to work," said DiIanne. "I'm not going anywhere, except maybe a few vacations."
The prize will be paid in 20 yearly installments of $50,000 each.
Joining DiIanne outside the Stewart's were members of his family, including his girlfriend, Casey Zimmer, and 4-month-old daughter Dezyrae.
"I didn't believe him when he called me," said Casey. "It was very unexpected. It's great."
The odds of winning the jackpot in the Instant Millionaire game are 2,646,000-to-1.
DiIanne played the lottery almost every day prior to winning the million-dollar jackpot, but the most he had won in the past was $30.
The state lottery generated $2.3 billion in profits last year, which went to support education throughout the state. That contribution accounted for 5.1 percent of total education spending in New York.
Since its inception in 1967, the lottery has generated more than $31 billion.
Bob McLaughlin, director of the New York Lottery, said that to celebrate DiIanne as the 2,000th big winner, the first 2,000 customers to purchase a lottery ticket at the Rexford Stewart's where the winning ticket was sold will receive a free ice cream cone.
Adam Williams was the manager of the Stewart's where the ticket was sold in April.
"It's awesome to have one of our customers in the community win the million-dollar ticket," said Williams. "It felt really good to sell it to a local."
Even after his big payday, DiIanne still plans to play the lottery.
"They have a $20 ticket in there for a $500 million extravaganza that has been looking really nice," DiIanne said.