A Queens man got the best gift imaginable on his 28th birthday — he bought the winning ticket that guaranteed him a minimum $5 million lottery jackpot.
Patrick Clarke purchased a "Set for Life" scratch-off ticket Dec. 20 from the Friendly Deli & Grocery in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He then headed to his girlfriend's home, where he discovered he'd scratched off the winning numbers, earning him a guaranteed $5,000 a week for life.
"I was very surprised that I won the jackpot and feel very blessed," he said Wednesday afternoon. "It means I won't have to worry so much. There will always be something to worry about, but for once, it won't be money."
The Delta Airlines ramp agent said he purchased the life-changing ticket using money his mom gave him in exchange for doing her a favor. He credits her as the reason for his good fortune.
"That's always been my mom's game and it's my game now," he said.
Clarke opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $2,453,693 after required withholdings. He said he doesn't know what he plans to do with his winnings yet.
Clarke was the 95th New York Lottery player to claim a prize of $1 million or more in 2016. The chances of winning the popular "Set for Life" prize of $5,000 a week? One in 6.18 million.
The new millionaire offered a piece of advice to New Yorkers vying for a chance to strike it rich.
"Play without the expectation of winning. It happens when you least expect it."