Haroon Ahmed, manager at the South Fallsburg Food Mart, got the call at 7:26 a.m. on Shabbos that someone had bought the winning ticket for a $127 million Mega Millions jackpot at the store.
The call came from a woman in Westchester County that Ahmed had never met, so, at first, he thought it was a prank. But then he checked it out online and found that the woman, who tracks winning numbers daily, was right.
He quickly called his brother-in-law, Mian Shahid, who owns the store, to tell him the news.
“I don’t want to ruin your sleep,” Ahmed told Shahid, “but we sold the ticket.”
Lottery officials said the winning numbers in Friday night’s drawing were 7, 49, 53, 60 and 64, with a Mega Ball number of 4. There is only one winning ticket.
No one at the South Fallsburg Food Mart, at 5105 Main St., could even hazard a guess as to who the lucky winner is. No one remembered selling that particular ticket.
But as customers came in during the day and learned the news, they quickly reached into their pockets and bought all kinds of Lottery tickets – hoping that the big winner’s luck would rub off.
“This ticket is a blessing,” said Debra Kufeld of Monticello as she bought a Lottery ticket Saturday at the Food Mart. “I hope it’s someone from around here and not just someone who was passing through.”
When customer Ira Gold of South Fallsburg learned the wining ticket was purchased at the Food Mart, he quickly bought a ticket.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Gold, who runs a fire protection company. “I hope it’s someone who really needs it and that they learn to share the wealth.”
Shahid, as store owner, will get a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket. He also owns stores in Ellenville and Loch Sheldrake.
He said he’ll hold off on making plans for that money until he confirms the winning ticket with Lottery officials Monday.
After that, he said, he’ll put up a big sign advertising the news.