A Co. Cavan-born Irish immigrant hit the jackpot when one of the scratch cards he bought the day before at a local supermarket turned out to be worth over $10 million.
Brendan Riordan, 28, couldn’t believe his eyes on Sunday morning, January 29th, when the Win For Life Spectacular scratch-off lottery ticket showed he was a winner. His winning number was 19.
As a top prize winner on the Win For Life Spectacular game, Riordan will receive his minimum prize of $10,000,000 in 20 annual installments of $520,000 (net $337,256). Once the minimum has been reached, Riordan will continue to receive an annual net check for life. He could end up winning over $25 million.
Riordan, who lives with his mom Mary (Co. Cavan native) and his dad John (Co. Limerick native) in Yonkers told IrishCentral on Friday that the news “still hasn’t sunk in.”
“I still can’t believe it,” he said smiling from ear to ear.”
“Nothing has changed from last Sunday to today and I’m going to take my time and think things through.”
Mary Riordan, his mother, told Irish Central she was “delighted” with the win.
“I gave him some money for his birthday last week and he went and bought some lottery tickets with it,” explained Mary.
“Little did we know that one of them would be this big.”
Riordan recently gave up smoking and instead of spending his hard earned cash on cigarettes he played the lotto.
"That particular Saturday I was driving around looking at properties and decided to stop for a couple of tickets," explained the young realtor.
Riordan, who is single, said he purchased the ticket from the Irish Mini Market on Aqueduct Avenue on McLean Avenue. He began to scratch some of the tickets off that night but got distracted by a movie on the television. He put them aside.
Although not wanting to make any quick spending decisions Riordan did say he plans to buy a home in New York and possibly one in Ireland too.
“I may even take a trip there shortly to celebrate,” he said.
Riordan recently completed his real estate license and may now be his own best client.
The Co. Cavan man was surrounded by family at Yonkers Raceway on Friday morning, February 10, where he collected his check from the National Lottery.
He moved to New York with his parents and six siblings nine years ago and together they have enjoyed life in the Irish Community. His dad and sister Pauline used to host the Radio Erin show a number of years ago.
Remembering his purchases on Sunday morning Riordan resumed scratching hoping to “win something small.”
When he came to the winning ticket he “couldn’t believe his eyes.” Literally. He went downstairs to ask him parents to make sure he was reading the ticket correctly.
“I asked my mom and dad but they don’t play the lotto so they were no help,” he laughed.
“I really needed clarification and had to wait until Monday morning (January 30) before I could bring the ticket to the Fishkill office to make sure I had won.”
The newly licensed real estate agent turned lottery winner called the rest of his family to share the good news.
Standing amongst his family at the Raceway on Friday Riordan, looking a little overwhelmed and still shocked at becoming an overnight millionaire, said he isn’t going to “go too crazy” with his winnings.
“It’s a lot to get used to you know so I need to let it sink in first,” he added.