Joseph Nicastro, of Mountainside, stopped in the local store for coffee and decided to try his luck for that evening’s Jersey Cash 5 drawing by purchasing some tickets with the change from his coffee.
Lottery officials say that after paying for his coffee and buying tickets, Joseph left with three Quick Pick tickets and the coffee to go about his day.
The next morning, Joseph returned to the store to check his tickets and grab another coffee to start his day. As he handed the tickets to the clerk to scan through the computer, he joked with her, saying “Show me the ‘Sorry, not a winner’ validating ticket.”
However, the clerk scanned the ticket and said excitedly, “Joe, you hit it!” Assuming she meant he hit the base $2 prize, he simply asked her for the cash so he could carry on with his day. The clerk quickly corrected Joseph, telling him he won big.
Lottery officials stated that his ticket from the March 29 Jersey Cash 5 drawing was worth $622,251! Joseph took a moment to process the news and called his wife Joyce at home to tell her. Joyce knew her husband was a prankster and didn’t believe him, so she hung up the phone!
Even after having the clerk at the store call and confirm, Joyce still did not believe it, assuming Joseph was trying to pull an elaborate and early April Fool’s Day prank. It was only after Joseph brought the ticket home and showed a reluctant Joyce that it finally sunk in for her. Joseph and Joyce were overwhelmed by the good news, they mentioned they were still trying to wrap their heads around the magnitude of their $622,251 prize.
Joseph’s lucky ticket was purchased at Speedy Mart on 17 Johnson Drive, Watchung in Somerset County.
Joseph and Joyce will put the prize toward their current bills and savings for their future.