By Ivan Pereira
A Queens Village immigrant who hit the jackpot will be sharing his Christmas winnings with his close brother.
Edwin Zhingre was all smiles last Thursday at a news conference with other state Lottery game winners on Long Island. Zhingre, an Ecuadorian national, won $5 million after winning the Mega Money Multiplier game and he asked to split the winnings with his older brother, Mario Zhingri.
The two run a construction business in Queens and Zhingri said he could not think of a better way to spend his winnings than with his own flesh and blood.
“We still feel the same as we did before we won the jackpot”, he said in a statement.
Edwin Zhingre, 28, picked up the scratch game ticket Dec. 1 at Sarahi Grocery on Springfield Boulevard in Springfield Gardens. He was able to match the winning numbers to the numbers he scratched off on the card and immediately called his brother.
“When Edwin called me to tell me the news, I was very happy for him. Right now we really don’t know what to feel,” Mario Zhingri said.
The siblings chose to take a lump sum payment for their earnings and will collect combined winnings of $3,107,700, the state Lottery said.
“My brother and I run our own construction company, so we are used to sharing,” Mario Zhingri said.
That business will now get a boost from the jackpot, according to the brothers, since they said they will use their winnings to pay off some the company’s bills.
A Long Island couple that won $3 million playing the Triple Million scratch-off game joined the brothers at the news conference.
Theresa Holzknecht, 48, and her husband Rudolph said they will be spending their prize outside New York.
“We’re selling our house and moving to Virginia. We love it there!” she said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546