NJ mom wins $5M from lottery ticket she didn’t mean to buy

New Jersey
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New Jersey mom Oksana Zaharov won $5 million with a lottery ticket. (NYS Lottery)

EDGEWATER, N.J. — A New Jersey mother of two used a lottery ticket as a bookmark for weeks, unaware that the numbers on it would bring her a life-changing windfall.

Oksana Zaharov, 46, asked a clerk at a Manhattan store for a $1 scratch-off ticket, but the worker gave her a $10 Set For Life ticket. She decided to keep it anyway.

“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” Zaharov said. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.”

She couldn’t believe it when she saw that she’d won $5 million.

“I never win anything,” she said. “I was sure the ticket was fake. It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.”

Zaharov plans to celebrate her win with a family vacation to the Bahamas and put money toward her children’s college education.

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