By Madina Toure

A Briarwood man is now going to be receiving $1,000 a day for the rest of his life after winning the New York Lottery’s Cash4Life prize.

Manuel Moreira, 50, a hotel union worker, won $7 million from the Aug. 17 Cash4Life drawing, according to the New York State Gaming Commission.

Moreira said that on the day of the drawing, he went to Concord Drug Pharmacy at 138-50 84th Drive in Briarwood after work to purchase his tickets. He plays the Cash4Life game regularly and picks his own numbers using a combination of his and his family’s birthdays. Before going to work the next day, he checked his numbers on the New York Lottery website.

“I didn’t believe what I was seeing,” Moreira said in a statement. “I was in a panic. I woke up my wife and she saw how panicked I was and thought someone had broken into our house.”

It was only when he went to the Manhattan Lottery Customer Service Center that he believed and realized how much money he had won.

“At first, I really didn’t believe that I had won $7 million,” he added. “But then when I got to the Lottery office and they verified it for me, it started to sink in. I’m really still in shock.”

Moreira chose to receive the money as a one-time lump sum payment, netting him $4,361,280, the New York State Gaming Commission said. He plans to use the money to take care of his children, grandchildren and family and possibly start finding a new home.

“This really is a dream come true,” Moreira said.

Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for New York Lottery, said the Cash4Life is a well-liked game.

“In terms of the game itself, he won probably one of the most popular games that the lottery sells right now,” Hapeman said. “It’s the only game that features two Cash4Life prizes, including the one that Mr. Moreira won on, which guarantees $1,000 a day for life. The second prize is $1,000 a week for life.”

A chef from Brooklyn won the top prize of $5,000 a week for life on the Set For Life scratch-off game at the Aug. 17 drawing and a maintenance man from the Bronx won the $3 million jackpot on the scratch-off game Instant Millionaire.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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