The Dutchess County couple who won a historic $10 million scratch-off prize has been identified as James and Sylvia Silverence of the Town of Poughkeepsie.
The winning ticket was sold at the Stewart’s Shops store on Vassar Road in the hamlet of Red Oaks Mill. It was part of the New York Lottery’s just-launched special 50th Anniversary instant game, “$10,000,000 Cash.”
Lottery spokeswoman Yolanda Vega presented the couple with an outsized check at ceremonies held Thursday at another Stewart's, at 3648 Albany Post Road on Route 9 The Stewart's where the ticket was sold, while open, couldn't be used because it is undergoing renovations.
As part of the promotional event, the Route 9 Stewart’s Shops was offering 50 cent single scoop ice cream cones all day and also the chance for folks to meet the chain’s newest mascot, Fresh the Chicken.
James said he purchased the ticket while stopping to cash in some winning lottery tickets.
“I went into the store and had $125 to claim,” he explained. “The lady ahead of me had purchased four of the $10,000,000 Cash tickets and hadn’t won. There were six tickets left so I put in some extra money and got them all.”
James brought the tickets home and gave them to Sylvia to scratch.
“I have a special way I like to scratch tickets,” she said. “I scratched the corner and it was a 23 which is James’ birthday. I saw I had the winning number 23 too, but I didn’t scratch off the prize right away.”
Sylvia took a closer look at the ticket and that’s when things started to get exciting.
“I noticed it looked like script where the prize is, not numbers,” she said. “I immediately started scratching it off and saw the word jackpot. So I covered up the word jackpot, brought it over to James and showed him the matching numbers.”
“When Sylvia showed me the matching numbers and moved her finger to reveal the word jackpot we both just started screaming,” James said.
The $10,000,000 top prize on the $10,000,000 Cash ticket is paid out as a one-time lump sum payment, making it the largest-ever scratch-off cash prize in state history.
More top prizes on the $10,000,000 Cash ticket are still available.
The Silverences are opting to split the jackpot. Each will receive a net check of $3,309,000 after required withholdings.
“It’s incredible. You never think you’re going to win, but half the part of scratching a ticket is the hope of winning,” James said.
The Silverences said they plan to use their winnings to help out their family and build an addition to their house.