Laurelton couple win $250K in lottery

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A Laurelton couple is now feeling lucky and richer last week after they came in second in the Mega Millions jackpot.

James Jean-Charles, 37, and Shanieka Chestnutt, 34, said they were initially shocked when they checked their ticket for the Jan. 4 drawing, which had a $380 million first prize. Although they missed the top winnings by the mega number, 42, they earned $250,000 for getting the second prize.

“We watched the numbers drawn, then we checked at the store and then we checked online. Then we lost it,” Chestnutt said in a statement.

The couple, who have two children, took their signed ticket that they bought using a quick pick method to the state lottery’s Garden City customer service center the day after to claim their prize.

Jean-Charles, who works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a bus driver, said they jumped on the Lotto bandwagon after no winners were drawn for weeks.

“We started playing when the jackpot started getting big,” he said.

He and his partner will use the money to primarily pay their bills, according to the state lottery.

Although thousands across the state bought tickets for the multimillion-dollar drawing, a man in Washington and an unidentified player in Idaho were the only ones to correctly pick the winning numbers: 4, 8, 15, 25, 47 and Mega Ball 42.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 10:42 am, October 12, 2011
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