Bellerose mom wins the lottery

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Ernestine Mayo dropped into a newsstand in Forest Hills to pick up some cough drops and just happened to buy two lottery tickets, too. As result, she will get $1,000 a week for the rest of her life.

Mayo, who lives with her husband and son and daughter on 263rd Street in Bellerose, was introduced at a Manhattan news conference last week by New York Lottery Director Margaret DeFrancisco as the 77th winner of the Win for Life game.

"I bought two Win For Life tickets and didn't scratch them off right away," said Mayo. She said her mother recently had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

"I was on my way to see my mother and decided to scratch off the tickets while I was on a bus," Mayo said. "The first ticket was a $20 winner. The second ticket read 'Life' three times. I was so shocked. I couldn't believe that I won."

She said her winnings would help offset the cost of 24-hour care for her mother.

Mayo, who worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank for 22 years but described herself now as "a housewife, mother and husband," said her family's plans for the money do not stop there.

She said it would help when her son, John, 17, a student at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, goes to college and more may be needed if her daughter, Jylan, 10, attends private school. She now attends PS 115.

"And then, we have not had a vacation in three years," she said.

Mayo, who bought the lottery tickets at a Q.B. Kishan Corp. newsstand at 118-119 Queens Blvd., will receive a check for $13,000 four times a year.

"These two were only the sixth and seventh Win For Life tickets I had ever bought," she said.

The odds of Mayo's winning were 7.5 million to one, DeFrancisco said.

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