But, these two aren't lottery veterans complete with strategies and experience. They almost never play. And this week, they only plunked down $2. One was a quick pick, which was a loser.The winning ticket had special meaning to Sofia, "A little over a month ago my dad was in a tragic accident, and it occurred on February 23rd.....so that's where I got the 2 and 23 from, his hospital room number at University Hospital was 438 he was in the critical care unit ICU, and then he was 64 when it happened but the numbers don't go up to 64 so I reversed them to 46 and then my mega ball number was the date he actually passed away which was the 17th of March, but... "
Sofia says she knows her lottery-loving dad Joseph Portella is looking down and smiling, "He always told my mom he was going to win the lottery... he kept a ledger with the lottery numbers, and he would write them down, and I really think that he had something to do with this."
Chris bought the winning ticket in Lyndhurst Wednesday night. He watched his numbers come in on TV at home alone, while Sofia was out with friends. He called her and told her; she thought he was kidding. And, until the clerk at Shop-Rite scanned the numbers and confirmed they were winners, she wouldn't really believe it. Her response when the clerk validated it, "Woooooohoooo, it's real!!!"
The newlyweds say after taxes, they'll pay some bills, pay down their mortgage, maybe take a vacation, and have a little fun. The win is obviously bittersweet, "If I could give all the money back, I'd give it back in an instant to have my dad back... absolutely in a heartbeat."
The Levchaks hold 1of 5 second place tickets in New Jersey, 17 tickets won 2nd prize in New York, and 1 in Connecticut.