DOWNTOWN — A lottery winner took a week to cash his $7 million winning ticket — because he couldn't get a day off work.
Eduardo Reyes, a chef at a Staten Island restaurant, bought his Golden Ticket scratch-off at the Liquor Depot on Forest Avenue on his day off.
Hours later, he realized he was super rich.
"I can't believe what I saw, I never thought I was gonna win big money," said Reyes — who lives on Staten Island and became the second big winner from the borough in four months — at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at the New York Lottery office.
"I was in shock, I didn't believe it."
But the lottery machine at the store couldn't read his ticket to verify his winnings. A machine at another store also didn't work.
Reyes called his brother, who told him to take the ticket into Manhattan for verification — but Reyes couldn't spare the time.
"I was working and I don't want to miss another day," Reyes said. "I kept [the ticket] in my closet."
A week later, he walked into the New York Lottery's office at 15 Beaver St. and it confirmed his new found wealth.
Reyes chose to receive his winnings in a lump sum and will walk away with $4,362,280 after the required withholdings.
He said he will use the money to buy a new house on Staten Island, where he has lived for the past 33 years after he emigrated from Mexico.
But despite his newfound riches, the dedicated cook said he will not quit his job anytime soon.
"For now I think, yes, I gotta keep working," Reyes said. "Seventeen years the same work."
Fellow Staten Island resident Rigoberto Mejia also won the $7,000,000 Golden Ticket prize, scratching his way to the fortune in December 2015.