Mega Millions winner Nancy Viola asked her husband, Vito Viola — an NYPD sergeant — to buy Powerball tickets from the 2520 Foodmart in the Willowbrook section of Staten Island on Jan. 8. She had the Powerball fever that was gripping the country.
"Because the jackpot was $900 million," she said. "It was big. It was all everybody was talking about. He didn't listen."
But instead, her husband used a leftover dollar to buy a Quick Pick for the Mega Millions — 11, 39, 51, 57, 75 and a Mega Ball 2
The couple kept the news quiet for months.
"We didn't tell anybody. We kept it a secret," she told the New York Daily News. "It was difficult, but it's exciting now."
Viola and her husband — who joined the NYPD in 2005 and works out of the 120th Precinct — assembled a financial team and claimed the ticket on March 10. They chose to receive the prize as a one-time lump sum payment of $64,796,160.
Both 37, the couple hasn't made any big purchases yet. But Sgt. Viola has already put in for retirement.