Early gift for lottery winner

By Pauline Liu
Lady Luck has smiled on an Arkville resident and provided her with an early holiday present as well as brighter prospects for the New Year. New York Lottery officials announced that Mildred Makara of Arkville has won $50,000 on its Set for Life instant scratch-off game.

“I’ll be 85 in three months,” said Makara, who is sharing the money with her family. “It makes everyone happy, but a lot of it’s gone already. You pay your taxes even before you get the money.”
The winning ticket was purchased from the newly installed instant lottery machine at Sam’s Country Store on Main Street in Fleischmanns. Makara, who plays the lottery regularly, decided to try her luck on a game of chance with the new machine.

According to store clerk Jesus Garcia, Makara’s first reaction was one of disbelief. “She told me that she was very surprised, then she asked me to double-check the ticket and make sure that she didn’t make a mistake,” said Garcia.

Over the years, Sam’s has proven to be lucky for a number of its customers.

“Last year, someone won $20,000 on Win Four and several customers have won smaller amounts of money, but this one is the biggest,” said Garcia.

The New York Lottery spends a portion of its proceeds to help support education in the state. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Lottery contributed over $3 billion to local school districts.