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Superstitious Mary Shammas wins Mega Millions jackpot

When Mary Shammas of Bay Ridge couldn’t stop her left hand palm from itching, she knew she had to buy a lottery ticket. She bought herself a New York Mega Millions Lottery ticket using her usual numbers and the date of her favourite holiday – Christmas Day, (5, 14, 17, 19, 24, and 25). Superstitious Mary Shammas then won the Mega Millions jackpot of $64 million on 25th May 2010.


Mary is a 73 year old retired receptionist who worked on Wall Street. Sadly, Mary is suffering from lung cancer and was on the bus, on her way back from a doctor’s appointment when her palm wouldn’t stop itching. For the superstitious among us, an itchy left palm means money is on the way. “I scratched and I scratched, and I said, ‘this must be something’,” so when she got off the bus, she went straight to the Lucky Lotto store on Third Avenue which is close to where she lives. The store got a $10,000 bonus for selling the ticket with the winning Mega Millions numbers on it.

“I used to play the Lottery a lot but I haven’t been able to afford it in recent years,” Mrs Shammas told New York Lottery officials, “But luckily I still carry my old play cards in my purse and that’s what I used to buy some tickets for that night’s draw.”


Mary stayed up until after 11.00 p.m. that same evening to watch the New York Mega Millions draw on TV. One by one, she saw her numbers coming up, “I thought I was going to faint,” she said, “I thought I was dreaming. I played those numbers for years and then to play them again on a whim and see them actually come up ...that’s unreal!”