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The luck of the Irish really came through for an Irish-born waitress who scooped a $21.5 million jackpot in the New York State Lottery on January 5, and claimed her prize on Thursday at a press conference on Long Island.
Patricia Daily Eisel, 40, a mother of three who lives in Long Beach, Long Island and works as a waitress, matched all six numbers to win the prize, and said she “froze” when she realized she had the golden ticket.
"When I checked my numbers I just started shaking," said Eisel. "I was doing my laundry at the time and decided to check the results from the night before.
The waitress had been due to fly home on vacation to Ireland but became stranded in New York when the blizzard hit.
“If I got out I wouldn’t have bought the ticket, “she said during a press conference.
“I wouldn’t have been home. It’s karma,” the mother added.
Eisel played a combination of six numbers that included her own, her sons and her sister’s birthdays: : 4 – 6 – 11 – 18 – 20 – 33.
She was doing her laundry when she decided to check her lottery numbers and admits she got the shock of her life.
“My heart was pumping so fast, that I didn’t know what to think. Then I called my friend and said I think I hit the lotto you need to call me back," Eisel said at Thursdays press conference.
After she called her friend, she left her clothes at the laundry mat before she went to pick up her three young children. A few hours later she remembered to pick her laundry.
“They’re laundry didn’t get folded, it just got thrown in the bag,” she told reporters.
Eisel moved to the U.S. from Ireland in 1995, and settled in Long Beach six years later. She says her first order of business after depositing her check of $7,907,313 – a lump sum she received after taxes – will be a trip to Ireland to see her mother, who still doesn’t know about her daughter’s newly-minted millionaire status.
“First I am going to see my Ma and then I am going to come back and buy a house for my kids. A home, Christmas presents and a dog”
Eisel’s brother Brian Daily flew to New York from Ireland to be with his sister after she won. "I am delighted for her," Daily said. "Life is going to get better for her."
The Irishwoman claimed her prize yesterday at the New York State Lottery's Customer Service Center in Garden City.
“She’s had to struggle monthly to support her children,” her attorney Dorothy Going told the media.
“So this is just a God send.”
“She has no money,” Going added. “She waitresses and babysits to feed her kids.”
The Long Beach resident told reporters that she plans on becoming a full-time mom but she will miss her job the Saloon Bar in Long Beach, where her customers and boss are like family.
“I’m going to be a full-time mom, but I don’t want my customers to think I left because I done this,” she said .“There’s enough people at the bar that need the shifts, too. I just want to do it to be close to family. Just to be there and see them.”