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
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
“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.
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