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What you need to know for 08/18/2017

2 Saratoga County women get rich on scratch-off tickets

2 Saratoga County women get rich on scratch-off tickets

Two Saratoga County women were million-dollar winners after scratching state Lottery tickets that ha
2 Saratoga County women get rich on scratch-off tickets
Pamela Fitch,left, of Mechanicville, and Kathleen Minissale, third from left, of Clifton Park, are congratulated by Lottery Draw Team Member Gretchen Dizer, second from left, at the Stewart’s at 454 Route 146 in Clifton Park on Thursday morning. Fit
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Two Saratoga County women were million-dollar winners after scratching state Lottery tickets that had been purchased on different days in Clifton Park.

Kathleen Minissale of Clifton Park received her winning Win For Life lottery ticket as a Christmas stocking stuffer purchased by her husband, Nino, at the Exit 8 Hess station.

Pamela Fitch of Mechanicville picked up her Big Bucks ticket on a whim when buying cigarettes for her son on Jan. 8.

On Thursday, both women were at a Stewart’s Shop on Route 146, where Fitch bought her winning ticket, to talk about their prizes.

Fitch, 55, said she asked the clerk in the Stewart’s Shop to give her a different scratch-off ticket but didn’t say anything when the Big Bucks ticket was handed to her.

Her prize will be paid annually for 20 years, and the $50,000 a year payment will be about $34,075 after taxes, according to lottery officials.

Fitch, a self-employed house cleaner, said she was very calm when she scratched the ticket and saw that it was a $1 million winner.

“It didn’t really hit me until I laid down to go to sleep that night,” she said.

She scratched the ticket on Dec. 26 but was not able to verify that she had won until three days later when the Lottery office in Schenectady opened after the holiday weekend.

“We couldn’t believe it. It was killing us to wait to make sure it wasn’t a mistake,” she said.

Minissale, 44, said the Win For Life payoff is $1,000 a week until she reaches the $1 million total payoff amount.

“The payments will be made quarterly, and the amount is actually about $700 a week after taxes,” she said.

Minissale said her husband owns two music stores and the economy has hurt business.

“I’m a stay-at-home mom, so this money will come in handy,” she said.

The couple said they may also take a Mexican vacation that would not have been possible without the winnings.

Fitch said she plans to save her Lottery winnings as a retirement nest egg and she will continue to clean houses.

Lottery officials said ticket sales topped $7.5 billion in the 2007-08 fiscal year. Of that total, $2.6 billion was set aside to support education.

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