News & Politics

Times Exposes Local Super’s Gambling Addiction

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A rather poetic feature in the New York Times describes the agony of Ray Otero, super of 106 East 85th Street. For years Otero has been spending between $500 and $700 a week on lottery tickets. (106 E. 85th must pay pretty well.) He hasn’t won much of anything. But in May Richie Randazzo, the doorman at nearby 1021 Park Avenue and a mere $30-a-week bettor, won $5 million in a scratch-off game called Set For Life.

As reporter Alan Feuer describes Otero’s interior monologue (or perhaps his interview notes), Otero “should have the cash, the car, the sexy Swedish girlfriend. The numbers alone demanded it…” The irony was “so developed it would even make the Devil crack a grin.” Otero “spent his summer struggling” with Randazzo’s victory. But Otero has not lost his faith in blind luck, and continues to buy piles of lottery tickets from an unsmiling Mohammad Hassan at the Lexington Avenue News Shop.

Did you bet that an expert on obsessive gambling would appear in this story? Congratulations, you won!