BATTERY PARK CITY — A Battery Park City garage attendant turned his slow day at work into a multimillion dollar windfall.
On a whim, just because he was "bored," 58-year-old Gregory Velez said he walked across the street from Gateway Garage at 245 South End Ave., and bought a $2 Cash4Life ticket at Southend News last month.
“I was bored at work that day so I decided to go across the street to buy a lottery ticket,” Velez said in a statement. “I asked the guy behind the counter what game I should play and he suggested Cash4Life because the drawing was that night."
Velez, who had never played the game, bought a ticket, letting the ticket machine randomly pick the six numbers, and won $4.6 million.
He could have gotten $1,000 a day for the $7 million jackpot payout, but decided to take the lump sum, which, after taxes, amounted to his multi-million dollar payday.
Velez, who lives in Union, N.J., said he didn't realize he had won until he came into work the next day, and word had spread that a winning ticket was purchased at the South End Ave. newsstand.
But once he knew he was the winner, the first thing he did was quit.
"I went totally numb when I realized that I actually won," Velez said in a statement. "I walked around the block a few times to clear my head and then went back to work to let them know that I quit.”
But, according to new reports, his co-workers and manager were pretty happy for him. Even the man who sold him the ticket was thrilled.
"He jumps up from behind the counter, gives me a big hug and goes, ‘I know you won!’” Velez said of the newsstand worker at a press conference Wednesday.
The divorced dad of two told reporters Wednesday that he had already hired lawyers and accountants to help him manage his new found money.
Velez joked that his role model would be like Dudley Moore as the worry-free millionaire in the movie "Arthur."
“I’m going to be like ‘Arthur,’ that Dudley Moore movie,” Velez joked, the Daily News reported. “Get a chauffeur. I’m not worried about anything. I’m just taking care of my family, my two girls, my granddaughter.”