Here's the Buffalo man who won $1 mil. from scratch-off ticket

Posted at 2:13 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 13:11:43-04

A Buffalo man will be $1,000,000 richer Friday after he receives his winnings from a lucky scratch-off ticket.

52-year-old James Helminiak purchased a New York Poker scratch-off game ticket from Corner Market on Broadway in Buffalo. He's played the game since it was first introduced in 2005. 

Helminiak said he won $500 in the past, but thought "something must be wrong" when he realized his hand beat the champion's hand and the prize said 'jackpot'.

The New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega presented Helminiak with an oversized prize check worth $1,000,000 Friday at the Corner Market.

He chose to get his prize as a one-time lump sum payment -- a total of about $536,000 after taxes. 

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

Helminiak is the 74th New Yorker to win a prize of $1,000,000 or more this year.