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First NJ Lottery Cash4Life top prize winners celebrate their win at retailer

Dec 4, 2014, 10:04 am

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New Jersey Lottery

New Jersey's first Cash4Life Top Prize winners, Joseph Ianiro and John Opaluch from Hasbrouck Heights, celebrated their win from the Nov. 13 drawing at the retail location from which the winning ticket was purchased.

The retail store owners, Anthony Bernice and Guy Bernice, became licensed lottery retailers in Feb. of 2013. They have been doing business under the store name of Heights Corner Store, located on 183 Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights in Bergen County, which was previously reported as Nick's Quick Stop. 

Joseph Ianiro, 65, is a Reverend and performs "wedding ceremonies for those that either have their church turn them away or have no church." He is also a realtor and he "enjoys helping people find the house they want." 

John Opaluch, 58, works for a national bank as Vice President, Telecommunications. 

Ianiro and Opaluch have been married since Oct. 31, 2012 but have been in a committed relationship since Oct. 31, 1981.

Ianiro said that he enjoys playing lottery and has been doing so for many years.  He regularly plays the same numbers because of their personal significance.

When asked what they will do with the $7 million cash value proceeds of the ticket, an after tax value of approximately $5 million, Ianiro retold a conversation that he had with a friend who was celebrating 25 years of being addiction free. The friend said that if he had ever won the lottery he would pay it forward by donating to the addiction services organization that helped him to manage his life.

Ianiro is going to honor his friend's achievement by making his dreams come true with a donation to the addiction services facility.

In addition to the Top Prize winners, 43,078 other New Jersey Lottery Cash4Life players won $195,541 in prizes ranging from $2 to $2,500 from the Thursday, Nov. 13 drawing.  The winning numbers were: 7, 8, 16, 49, and 56. The Cash Ball was 4.

Cash4Life tickets are available exclusively in New Jersey and New York.  Players select five numbers from a field of one through 60, and then select a "Cash Ball" from a field of one through four.  Drawings are held on Monday and Thursday at approximately 9:00 p.m.

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