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Doctor's wife hangs up on lottery official thinking $6.2 million win a scam

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A Long Island doctor almost didn't see his $6.2 million in lottery winnings because his wife kept hanging up on a lottery official calling to tell the doctor he was a big jackpot winner. Tammy Schwartz-Stobel answered the phone a few times to a female lottery official, who she thought was someone trying to scam her, according to the N.Y. Post on Dec.5.

The 52-year-old Schwartz-Stobel is apparently aware that folks are bombarding with tales of lottery winnings in elaborate scams today and she thought this is what the call was all about. It was her husband, Alan Strobal, 53, who brought the winning ticket back on Nov. 6, but the doctor’s wife didn’t want to hear anything this woman had to say.

She said: “I listened for a couple of minutes and then I said, ‘I’m hanging up,’ and I hung up.”

Schwartz-Strobel said she let the answering machine pick up the next couple of calls, but then she couldn’t take it anymore and picked up the phone to tell the woman, “You can’t have my husband’s number.”

The doctor’s wife finally agreed to email the caller’s phone number to her husband who was at work at the time. When her husband got the email and he didn’t believe it either.

Strobel had brought the ticket in a lottery subscription, which is one of the only reasons the lottery would call you to say that you’ve won. When picking up tickets at a lottery machine in a store, the lottery has no idea who the holder of the winning ticket would be.

With a subscription for a lottery ticket, the folks at the lottery have all your information if you should win, this is why they were calling the doctor to inform him of his lottery windfall.

Strobel said he did his own research before calling the number his wife had sent him in an email. The lottery official on the other end of the phone was Mary Kay Derby, a director of Lotto prize payments. She assured the doctor she wasn’t a con-artist.

Even though his wife almost blew off the lottery win with her refusal to talk to the lottery folks, the doctor gifted her the $6.2 million winnings. She decided on the lump sum payment which was $3.9 million. Schwartz Strobel was one of the seven New Yorkers who were announced on Thursday. She is going to buy her husband a gift, possibly a Maserati.

This is one case when it sounded too good to be true, and it really was!



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