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Area Landscaper, 23, Wins $2.5M Lottery Prize

Darwin Aguirre Portillo, a landscaper who lives in Brewster, speaks after winning the lottery in the "$2,500 a Week for Life" category.
Darwin Aguirre Portillo, a landscaper who lives in Brewster, speaks after winning the lottery in the "$2,500 a Week for Life" category. Video Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Darwin Aguirre Portillo and Yolanda Vega pose with a giant novelty check following his win of a $2.5 million lottery prize.
Darwin Aguirre Portillo and Yolanda Vega pose with a giant novelty check following his win of a $2.5 million lottery prize. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Darwin Aguirre Portillo cuts a celebratory cake after winning a $2.5 million lottery prize.
Darwin Aguirre Portillo cuts a celebratory cake after winning a $2.5 million lottery prize. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

BREWSTER, N.Y. -- Since moving from Guatemala to Brewster two years ago, Darwin Aguirre Portillo has bought scratch-off lottery tickets and won small prizes in the single and double digits. This week, the 23-year-old landscaper made it big when he won a $2.5 million prize.

“Congratulations, Darwin!” proclaimed Yolanda Vega at a Tuesday press conference, which was held at the Gulf gas station where the winning ticket was purchased.

Vega, a spokeswoman with the New York Lottery, acted as an interpreter, and offered Aguirre Portillo's recollections and history. She said that Aguirre Portillo and his brother stopped at the station to buy drinks when he purchased the $5 ticket.

Soon after, Aguirre Portillo and his brother were sitting in the car when he scratched the ticket and discovered that he won.

“I asked him if he was jumping up and down," Vega said. "He said 'no,' he wasn't that excited but he was happy.”

Aguirre Portillo subsequently confirmed his ticket's winning status at the station.

The prize is part of the New York Lottery's series called "$2,500 a Week for Life." Aguirre Portillo, who opted to get a lump sum, will receive $1,390,601 after withholdings are accounted for.

Aguirre Portillo plans to buy a new car, Vega said, with future plans including college and possibly starting a business. He with the 18th Putnam County lottery winner to receive a prize of more than $1 million, New York Lottery announced.

Video of Portillo speaking at a Tuesday press conference is attached.

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