Two from Queens win Lottery millions

An out-of-work warehouse supervisor from St. Albans and a partner in a mom-and-pop eatery in Elmhurst became the latest Lottery millionaires at a ceremony in the Queens Botanical Garden.
Amid cherry blossoms and daffodils on a sunny Tuesday, April 15, warehouseman Michael Perez, 51, exulted in receiving a $14 million prize check from Carolyn Hapeman of the New York State Lottery Commission.
Shortly afterwards, Yoon Kim, the son of Korean restaurant owners Chong Bang Kim, 52 and his wife Chan Hee, accepted a $1 million prize check on behalf of his father.
The elder Kim bought a $500 million Extravaganza instant game ticket on Wednesday, March 12 at the Asian Food Market on South Avenue in Staten Island, where he regularly bought groceries for the restaurant.
Having elected to receive 20 yearly payments of $50,000 each, Kim will net $32,251 a year after taxes.
“My dad jumped up and down when he saw that he won $1 million,” Yoon Kim said. “They’ve both been working hard in the business for 26 years - maybe now they can take it a little easy.”
Perez purchased five dollars worth of “quick-pick” Lotto tickets for the April 2 drawing, at the Prince Supermarket on Linden Boulevard in St. Albans. He also “splurged” on five bucks worth of scratch-off tickets.
He’s been out of work for about three months. “I got into a miscommunication with the manager,” the native New Yorker confided, adding, “After about three months, I got a temporary job, but that didn’t last.”
“I felt a little guilty about blowing the money,” Perez confided, “But I had gotten my tax return and figured, ‘What the heck.’” He recalled circling the numbers on his Lotto ticket: 01; 08; 10; 31; 52 and 57. “It took me a long time to draw the circle around 57 - I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Since he elected a lump sum payment, the actual prize is the amount that would have been invested to make the annual payments totaling $14 million - $7,833,361.
When the taxes are taken out, Perez will net $5,052,675.
“The first thing I’m going to do is give back to my family. They’ve been supporting us - now I can do the right thing,” he said.
“I have debts and credit cards to pay off when I actually get the money [lottery officials say it should be in his account by Thursday, April 17] and right now I’m still broke,” he lamented, although smiling broadly.
“My mom has been giving me an allowance,” he admitted. “Maybe she’ll give me an advance,” he joked.
Perez and his wife Tracy have been living in his mother’s basement. Now, they plan to do some house-hunting “someplace close to Disney World.”
“It’s like after the Super Bowl … ‘I’m going to Disney World!’” he exclaimed.

More from Around New York