Buffalo man wins $1 million from New York Lottery


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man won $1 million through the New York Lottery.

James Helminiak says he started playing “New York Poker” when the game was introduced in 2005.

“I won $500 on it in the past,” Helminiak said. “When I scratched this ticket, I thought to myself, ‘Something’s not right.’”

As he was watching TV, Helminiak noticed that the three-of-a-kind on his ticket beat the champion’s pair of Kings, which earned Helminiak the top prize.

The 52-year-old had to wait through the weekend to take his ticket to lottery offices on Monday.

“It was the longest weekend of my life!” he said.

The ticket was bought at the Corner Market on Broadway in Buffalo.

After redeeming his ticket, Helminiak took a one-time lump sum payment of $536,058 after required withholdings.

“This really is a big sigh of relief,” he said. “The money will allow me to buy new vehicles for the family and I’ll be able to fix up the house.”

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