When the two brothers were asked why they cashed in so late on their price they answered that they were afraid. Andy Ashkar, one of the brothers, said he wanted to carefully plan everything before he is introduced as winner publicly. This way he could avoid any kind of “negative influence”. His brother was also concerned about the same thing.
Their parents were Palestinians from Jerusalem and immigrated to the U.S. almost 40 years ago. They owned the Syracuse store for 12 years. When asked about what she feels for her two sons the mother answered: “I’m happy. Of course I’m happy.” Because cases in which a lottery ticket winner is related to a store owner that sold the ticket are always investigated the Lottery Agency did the routine check. But, as expected, the routine verification determined Ashkar’s ticket was indeed bought legitimately.