Featured Story

‘Lucky store’ sells another big ticket, this time for $5 million

Deborah Kowalski of Riverhead won $5 million playing a New York State Lottery scratch-off ticket bought from Bapa Card & Gift, known as The Hallmark Store in Riverhead.

She opted to receive her prize in a single lump sum payment of $3.225 million after required withholdings, according to a New York Lottery press release.

Ms. Kowalski played the New York Lottery’s 100X scratch-off game. There is still one unclaimed prize available on the 100X ticket, according the Aug. 26 release.

Bapa Card & Gift is located on 763 Old County Road in Riverhead, in the former Walmart shopping center. Store owner Allan Patel was there on the day Ms. Kowalski won.

“We have a lucky store,” he said. “This is the fifth time we have a big winner in this store.”

In 2019, someone purchased a $1 million Powerball ticket at the store.

Mr. Patel has been at Bapa Card & Gift for 25 years. The store used to be a Hallmark franchise but is now owned by Mr. Patel.

There have been additional smaller prizes ranging from $55,000 to $250,000 that have been won there in the past, but this is the biggest prize yet, Mr. Patel said.

Ms. Kowalski declined an interview request.

The New York Lottery contributed over $281 million in Lottery Aid to Education to school districts in Suffolk County during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.