BROOKLYN, NY --A New York City man celebrated his 28th birthday with the gift of a lifetime after winning a $5 million jackpot on a scratch-off ticket, and Patrick Clarke owes it all to his mother.
"He said, 'I got life,'" Andrea Clarke said. "I said, 'Life? What you mean by that?'"
"Life" means $5,000 each week for as long as Patrick lives.
The Clarkes are now the talk of the town in East New York, where Patrick bought the lucky ticket on his special day.
"I forgot the ticket was in my pocket and scratched it off 30 minutes later," he said. "And that's when it all happened."
On December 20, Andrea asked her youngest child, who lives in Queens, to run an errand. She gave him some cash -- and a little extra for his birthday -- and he went to the Friendly Deli and Grocery and bought a $10 Set for Life ticket.
In this case, 16 was his lucky number. He was an instant winner.
"At first I didn't believe him," Andrea said. "I said, 'Are you sure, check the ticket again.' He said, 'Ma, I know what kind of ticket it is because you always are buying this ticket.'"
Patrick works for Delta Airlines, and the father of two says he's keeping his job. But he will make some small adjustments thanks to this big win.
"I'm going to buy a home," he said. "I don't know where, but just buy a home make sure my kids are good."
He chose the one-time lump sum payment of roughly $2.4 million.
"It happens when you least expect it," he said. "It happens when the time is right, when the blessings come to you. I guess I'm just happy to be blessed."