Hudson Valley win-for-life lottery winner bought ticket on a whim

Yvette Moscatello and her husband, Vincent, flanked by Kylie McDonald and Yolanda Vega of New York Lottery. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Yvette Moscatello had a moment between errands, she recalls, and ran into the Stewart’s in Modena to grab a cup of coffee. On a whim, she also bought a $2,500 a week for life lottery ticket because the colors caught her eye. It was a good choice, as she ended up getting the top prize, making her Ulster County’s first and New York’s ninth million-dollar-plus lottery winner this year.

Moscatello and her husband, Vincent, were on hand Friday morning to display a mock-up of the winning ticket and accept an oversized, ceremonial check for $2,500,000, the minimum guaranteed payout should a player opt to receive it weekly. Rather than gambling on her lifespan, the 39-year-old Moscatello instead agreed to a lump payment of $1,311,031 after withholding the rest for taxes. The event featured Yolanda Vega, who is best known for drawing New York Lottery numbers, as well as the newest emcee, Kylie McDonald.


While she does play lottery games, Moscatello said that win-for-life tickets is normally her husband’s game, not her own. When she realized she’d gotten enough matching symbols, “I checked it ten times,” she said, before then showing her husband and having him do the same. She caught him taking out the trash, and the pair of them spent a few minutes jumping for joy, a scene which was captured by their home security system.

The couple has been married ten years, and have three children: seven-year-old boy-and-girl twins and another daughter, five. Vincent and his father own a pool and spa business, while Yvette has recently done the more difficult job of managing the household and family.

Initial plans for the winnings include saving for college and retirement, but McDonald did coax a concession out of them: their kids love beaches, and some travel might also be in the mix.

Events such as these can be a boon for the winning location. While a percentage of winning jackpot games is awarded to the retailer, that’s not the case with scratch-off games. Publicizing winners can put a shop on the map as “lucky,” however: during the brief event several patrons were eagerly scratching off a pile of lottery tickets, clearly interested in seeing if there’s more of that good fortune which touched the Moscatello family.

As for the winners themselves, they said they would probably continue playing lottery games.