By Maya Rhodan
June 5, 2015

A plumber in New York cashed in on a $136 million lottery ticket Thursday, taking home a massive cash prize he nearly squandered.

Anthony Perosi, 56, had the winning Powerball ticket in his possession for over a month before he even checked it. A friend told him the winnings had gone to a schoolteacher and he believed her.

“A few days after the drawing, I was talking with a friend of mine, and she told me the winning ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven on Page Avenue,” Perosi said Thursday, according to WABC New York. “I said that’s where I bought my ticket, and she told me she heard that a school teacher won it.”

That was in March.

One fateful day in April, though, after having some trouble with his truck Perosi went down to his basement where he’d kept his ticket pinned in a “lucky” spot behind a pipe. And lucky it was.

The Staten Island native said he thought he was having a heart attack when he saw the winning numbers. He called his 27-year-old son over to confirm. The two said Thursday it’s been surreal ever since.

The elder Perosi doesn’t plan on letting his new-found wealth change him, though. “I want to continue to work, but will be able to relax a little more and not have any worries financially,” he said.

[WABC New York]

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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