Nina’s Market in Lynn sells a $1 million lottery ticket

Sam Youssef ,who works at Nina's Market on Essex Street in Lynn, points out the thirty-dollar scratch tickets that are worth a million dollars. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — The lucky streak at Nina’s Market keeps on going as another customer leaves the store $1 million richer.

Last week, Alla Gershman, of Lynn, walked into the convenience store and purchased a $30 ticket. After she scratched the Massachusetts State Lottery’s “The Fastest Road to $1 Million,” she realized she was the instant ticket game’s latest prize winner, according to the MA Lottery website.

The million dollar win is the second for the Essex Street convenience store since its opening in 1995, according to Baseem Nseir, the owner of Nina’s Market.

“It’s all about having good karma,” said Nseir. “This win is really good for the business because a lot of people buy their tickets here and most of them are regulars.”

As a result of selling a winning ticket to Gershman, Nina’s Market will receive a $10,000 bonus, which Nseir has already put to good use. He recently finished fixing up the lights around the building and put in new doors for their cooler next to the coffee station. With those restorations already complete, the owner said it was the perfect time to gain some extra money.

Ken Lufkin has lived across the street from the building for 34 years. He became a regular back when White Hen Pantry occupied the space, and still is today. The Lynner walks into Nina’s Market every day before work, either to purchase a snack or, when he’s feeling lucky, a scratch ticket.

In the last six months, Lufkin has won three $1,000 tickets at the Essex Street convenience store. He said if he were ever to hit the million dollar win, he would donate half of it to charity.

“This is a very lucky store,” said Lufkin. “I’ll be back in tomorrow to buy a ticket.”

Abu Daniel and Sam Youssef are the store’s main ticket sellers. They said they didn’t know which of their coworkers sold the winning ticket to Gershman, but it must have been someone on the night crew.

Daniel, who has worked at the store for the last three years, answered the lottery’s call last Thursday. When they informed him of the win, he relayed the good news to his boss and the rest of his coworkers. Daniel said if he were the one with the winning ticket, he’d pay off his student loans and his father’s mortgage.

“We were so beyond happy,” said Daniel. “All of us.”

Youssef has worked at Nina’s Market for 13 years and has seen a slew of small-time winners walk out the door after purchasing a ticket from him. He said the store sold at least four $10,000 winning tickets last year. The longtime employee said if he were to walk out with a $1 million prize, he’d purchase his first home right away.

According to the Mass Lottery website, Gershman chose the annuity option, which provides less tax withholdings. She will have 20 annual payments of $50,000 and plans to purchase a new car.

“She’s a lucky lady,” said Youssef. “She came into the right place at the right time.”

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