Taking the phrase "go big or go home" to heart, a Hudson Valley cook won $10 million playing the New York Lotto. Three other local residents combined to win $6 million.

Anthony Vitolo of Wallkill is the first New York Lottery player to claim a top prize of $10,000,000 on the $350,000,000 Cash Spectacular, lotto officials say.

Vitolo, a cook for an Italian restaurant in Modena, often plays $20 and $25 lotto games because he likes to win big and because he was hoping for a miracle.

“I needed money plain and simple,” Vitolo told lotto officials while he was presented with an over-sized check on Wednesday at the Lottery Customer Service Center located in Fishkill.

The 57-year-old purchased the winning ticket at Speedway on Route 300 in Newburgh. He's been working the restaurant business since the age of 16.

“It’s not an easy life,” Vitolo said. “It’s 12-hour days, weekends and most holidays. It takes a toll on you after a while."

Vitolo opted to receive his $10 million prize as a one-time lump sum payment, netting him $6,618,000 after taxes.

The father plans to use his winnings to out of debt, retire and spend time with his family.


Paul and Norma Fox of Cortlandt Manor claimed the second prize on the Sept. 22 Mega Millions drawing, winning $5 million.

The couple of 54 years played the megaplier which can multiply a prize by 2, 3, 4, or 5 times, for an additional $1 per game.

The couple, who are splitting the money equally, chose to receive their prize as a one-time lump sum. Both will net $1,654,500 after taxes.

They plan on using the money to help their three children and five grandchildren, fix their house, pay debts and donate to their church.


 

Katherine Lukin of West Nyack claimed the top prize on the $1 million Cashword scratch-off game. After winning $50 on the $2 Cashword, she decided to press her luck and purchased a $10 ticket.

She purchased her ticket at Quick N Quality Deli on Route 303 in Blauvelt. She chose to receive her prize as a one-time lump sum payment totaling $661,800 after required withholdings.