Patrick Clarke purchased two $10 “Set for Life” scratch-offs on Dec. 20 at the Friendly Deli & Grocery in Brownsville, Brooklyn, while he was visiting his girlfriend for a birthday celebration. Clarke said his mother had given him $50 for his 28th birthday, a day earlier, and advised him to play a scratch-off.
Back at his girlfriend’s house he scratched off the games, and saw a match with the number 16 and the word “Life” under it. This meant he scored the jackpot. After finding out, he recalled screaming “Whoo-whoo-whoo!”
“I started laughing and dancing all around the house,” remembers Clarke.
Upon discovering the good news, the first person he contacted was his mother, Andrea. The 52-year-old who works at a hospital, said she missed six calls from him before she answered the phone.
“He called me and told me,” she said to The New York Post. “I was really happy. I couldn’t believe it.” The jackpot prize was initially for $5 million, but Clarke opted for a lump sum of $2,453,693. Clarke, who works as a Delta Airlines ramp agent, still plans to keep his day job, but says now he won’t have to worry as much about money.
“I was very surprised that I won the jackpot and feel very blessed. It means I won’t have to worry so much,” he said. “There will always be something to worry about, but for once, it won’t be about money.”
Now, Clarke said he plans on purchasing a home for his family, and take things one day at a time.