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$165 Million Lottery Winner a Mystery

22 July 2002

NEW JERSEY -- July 19, 2002 --As reported by the North Jersey News: "He was just another customer when he entered the Evergreen Pharmacy in Cliffside Park on Wednesday morning.

"But when the man walked out the door a few minutes later looking a bit shocked, he had a new identity: the winner of the largest single-ticket prize in the New Jersey Lottery's 32-year history.

"The winner of Tuesday's $165 million Mega Millions jackpot, who has yet to reveal his identity, apparently didn't know he had won until he went to the pharmacy around 10 a.m. Wednesday to check the three strips of tickets he had bought a day earlier for about $10.

"… [Janet Solano, the cashier,] ran the mystery man's first ticket through the Lotto Machine: $7 [in winnings], the display read.

"Then she ran the second ticket, which was a loser.

"And then the third. "The screen said $92 million," Solano said. `I was excited for him. I told him, 'You're the winner!' He said, 'You're kidding.''

"The machine read $92 million because the winner opted for the lump-sum cash payment when he purchased his ticket. When Solano told the newly-minted millionaire she wasn't joking, the man stood frozen.

"…The mystery man was so incredulous that Clara Hang, who owns the pharmacy with her husband, Dong-Hyun, printed out a copy of the winning numbers and compared them, one by one.

"…The man left the store, crossed Palisade Avenue, and went into the back entrance of his Winston Towers high-rise.

"…The winner validated his ticket and took a claim form but has not come forward to state lottery officials. Store employees, who said they did not know the man's name, described him as stocky and in his late 50s.

"…If he lives in one of the condominiums with a terrace facing the pharmacy, he probably would've been scared off by the media throng that descended upon the store for a midafternoon news conference with New Jersey Lottery officials…"

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