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Irish emigrant, 28, wins $10m (minimum) on New York scratchcard

Cavan-born Brendan Riordan bought his Win For Life ticket with $20 his mother had given him for his birthday.

Brendan Riordan collects his cheque for $10 million, from NY Lottery's Youlanda Vega.
Brendan Riordan collects his cheque for $10 million, from NY Lottery's Youlanda Vega.
Image: NY State Lottery

A 28-YEAR-OLD IRISH emigrant has scooped a top $10 million prize in New York’s state lottery – with a scratchcard he had bought with his mother’s birthday gift.

Brendan Riordan was given $20 by his mother Mary for his 28th birthday – and spent the cash on a ticket for the Win For Life scratch-off.

His $20 investment proved sage – as he scooped the top prize of $10 million, which will be paid in annual instalments over the next 20 years.

After that, he’ll still be entitled to a minimum payment every year for the rest of his life – meaning because of his early age, Brendan could find himself taking $25 million or more over the course of his lifetime.

The NY lottery website explains that Brendan, an estate agent, was driving around looking at properties and stopped on a whim to pick up some tickets for that weekend’s draw.

He had begun to scratch off the scratchcard-style format that evening, but was distracted by a movie on TV – and it was only the following morning, when he finished scratching the ticket, that he realised his ticket had matched the magic number 19 at the top and bottom.

The victory will mean 20 annual payments of $520,000 net (which, after tax, becomes $337,258 – around €255,000) until he reaches the $10 million minimum prize, and then an annual net cheque for every year until he dies.

Riordan told IrishCentral that he was “going to take my time” deciding how to spend the winnings, but that he was likely to buy a home in New York – and possibly one in Ireland too.

The Riordans – including Brendan, Cavan native Mary and his father, John, originally from Limerick – moved to Westchester County in 2003. John and Brendan’s sister Pauline have previously hosted a radio show for Irish expatriates.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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