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Garden City Park Man Wins $33M in Mega Millions

Philip Cimino plans to keep working and use some of winnings to help Sandy victims.

It may not have been the half-billion Powerball, but even after winning the lottery, Philip Cimino still plans to show up for work at San Giorgio Florist in Carle Place.

“I’m headed there right now as soon as I finish,” the 67-year old Garden City Park resident said, surrounded by media Thursday morning at the Lottery Claim Center in Garden City.

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Cimino was the sole winner in the Nov. 6 drawing of the Mega Millions, correctly matching all six numbers and netting himself a $33 million jackpot. He opted for a lump sum payment of $24.8 million, which comes to $16.4 million after taxes. He never thought he would be able to retire from his job as a floral designer.

Now “I can retire,” he said, “but I won’t."

I’m going to work at least two or three days a week just to keep the mind going,” adding that he has been working at the position for the past 42 years and “I can’t just give it up like that.”

Cimino purchased the ticket at the Mineola Card & Smoke Shop in Mineola on Jericho Turnpike on his way to work the day of the drawing, picking his numbers off of receipts he keeps from his everyday purchases from stores.

He plays about three times per week and if he doesn’t win anything after two or three weeks using those numbers, he moves on to another receipt.

“If nothing’s happening, I switch,” he said. “It works for me, I don’t know if it’s going to work for other people.”

He was ready to switch receipts again, which included the winning combination of 4, 18, 22, 38, 44 and mega ball 24, when he had a change of heart. “I played them for three weeks and I said ‘I’m going to play it one more time’ and that’s when it hit,” he said.

Cimino says that he doesn’t really have any need for luxury items but would buy a condo with the windfall. “I’m still on cloud nine, I do not know yet,” he said, but indicated that donating some of the funds to victims of Hurricane Sandy is a possibility.

“I’m thinking about that very much now," he said. "I don’t have a figure yet, but I’m just thinking about it, giving.” Cimino, who is unmarried and has no children, attended his prize ceremony alone, but did note that he had a girlfriend. “She didn’t want the notoriety,” he said.

This story was written by Geoffrey Walter.
Patronage Troll November 30, 2012 at 04:35 AM
God Bless - the only time you should step in the meadow muffins is in a mine field and occassionally they pay off. Enjoy in good health.

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