Eighty-four-year-old Knute Hagen of Yaphank, Suffolk County, New York (near where I grew up, on Long Island) had but one wish this holiday season: I want to pay off the mortgage on my home once and for all, said the retired union carpenter/construction superintendant.
He can do that this year, thanks to an early December $1 million win.
He also said he’d help his daughters and “do a few more things on my bucket list before time catches up with me.”
Hagen, whose family immigrated to New York from Norway in 1950, won the $1,000,000 top prize on the Sweet Million drawing held on November 29th. The father of two and grandfather of two said he began playing the twice weekly Sweet Million game after hearing about the odds.
“The best odds of winning a million with just a buck’; that’s what the ads say, recounted Hagen. I figured it was worth a shot.
Hagen purchased his ticket on the morning of the drawing during a routine trip to his neighborhood King Kullen store in Shirley.
He picked his own numbers using a system he devised himself. I use a deck of cards to help me pick my numbers. he explained. Sometimes it works, he said, And, sometimes, it doesn’t. Hagen said he used the same system to help him select his numbers for a Take 5 drawing in 2008 that netted him $37,000.