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Northern New York man hits the jackpot - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Northern New York man hits the jackpot

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KEESEVILLE, N.Y. -

Meet Doug Smith, the newest millionaire in Essex County, New York. He just won a $3 million jackpot in the New York Lottery.

"It was kind of surreal," said Smith of Wilmington. "I really thought it couldn't be."

Smith actually won back in April, buying tickets with his friend Gordy like he always does. But he wanted to keep it a secret before he could tell his family.

The manager of the restaurant McLean's who sold the ticket is Tammy Atkins.

"My jaw went (drops) 'cause I knew who it was and I couldn't tell anybody. And he's a great guy and a great customer. We couldn't be happier," Atkins said.

Smith's happy to celebrate with his friends and neighbors.

"It's real nice. It's a great community," he said.

When Smith sat down to scratch off his lottery tickets, what happened next is what most lotto players only dream of-- his $20 investment came back to him 100,000 fold. Doug will be walking away with more than $2 million.

"He has opted to take the cash value of the prize which is going to total close to $2.3 million," said Gretchen Dizer of the New York Lottery.

People around the North Country and everywhere else like to dream about what they would do with $1 million.

"I would pay off all of my debt and my family's debt," said Nicholas Dubay of Plattsburgh. "And I would buy the house I'm living in, and I'd probably buy a couple other houses."

But not everyone dreams of winning the lotto.

"I wouldn't necessarily be happy because I would be terrified that if I had a ton of money everybody would always be bugging me," said Brittany Moore-Murray of Rouses Point.

Smith says the money's going on lockdown for at least six months before he does anything crazy. He believes his best friend Gordy is his good luck charm.

"The only other guy I wanted to win more than me is this guy. The only bigger heart in here is this guy," Smith said.

Smith says the money won't change him, and plans on telling his family the big news this weekend... unless they see this newscast first.

Seems like a lucky area. The New York Lottery says Smith is the fifth person in Essex County to win more than $1 million from a New York Lottery Ticket.

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