Local brothers claim $5 million lottery prize 6 years after winning

Update: In November, police charged the two brothers of a major lottery scam. Click here to read more.


Six years after they won a $5 million lottery prize, two local brothers are finally coming forward to claim it.

34-year-old Andy Ashkar, of Camillus, and 36-year-old Nayel Ashkar, of Cicero, won the top prize of $5 million in the $500 million dollar Extravaganza scratch-off game.

New York Lottery officials say the brothers claimed the prize on March 1 at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Schenectady. Andy Ashkar bought the ticket at his family's Green Ale Market at 2208 East Fayette Street in Syracuse in 2006, but didn't come forward until this past spring.

Lottery officials say he was concerned the winning ticket could negatively influence his life if he did not plan properly before going public. They say Ashkar was concerned it could influence his engagement. He decided to share his winnings with his brother Nayel to show appreciation for all Nayel had done for him during his life.

The New York Lottery requires all players who win $1 million or more to attend a news conference to discuss the prize claim and participate in a check presentation.