Good Luck Two Times Over: Wanaque Man Claims Winning Lottery Ticket

Bernie Szilagyi of Wanaque had some anxious moments when he almost missed out on purchasing his usual Jersey Cash 5 tickets.

The tickets were purchased at Wine 2 Spirits in Wanaque.
The tickets were purchased at Wine 2 Spirits in Wanaque. Photo Credit: Google Maps

The cash register at Wine 2 Spirits wasn't working properly.

Luckily for Szilagyi, the clerk quickly fixed the issue and he was able to pick up five Quick Pick Jersey Cash 5 tickets that ultimately made him a New Jersey Lottery winner.

That night in March, Szilagyi tucked the tickets away in the back of his wallet for safe keeping and carried on with his weekend, forgetting to check the tickets after the drawing.

A few days later, he stopped back into his local retailer’s store and the clerk asked him excitedly: “Did you hear the good news?” 

The clerk told Bernie someone who had bought a ticket as this store had won the Jersey Cash 5 jackpot from Friday’s drawing. Szilagyi went home, looked up the numbers online, and dug up the tickets from the previous Friday that he had put into the back of his wallet.

As he compared the numbers on his ticket to the numbers that had been drawn, he noticed they matched -- all five out of the five white balls drawn.

Szilagyi quickly did a double and triple-take to make sure he was reading it properly. He was amazed and thrilled that his lucky ticket was worth $702,686. 

He was lucky twice: Once when the clerk was able to fix the computer in time for him to buy his tickets, and again when the numbers on one of those Quick Picks was the winning combination.

Szilagyi and his wife will talk to their financial advisor before determining the best way to pay down debts and invest in their future.

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