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Remember This Hackensack Police Detective-Turned Realtor? Well, He Just Won The $1M Powerball

Niles and Sara Malvasia of Washington Township. Photo Credit: NJ Lottery
From left: Niles Malvasia, Alex Ferenczi, Nick Triano, Massimo DiMartino. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

A former Hackensack police detective who recently retired as a real estate agent won $1 million playing the New Jersey Lottery.

Niles Malvasia and his wife Sara of Washington Township on Jan. 6 picked up $20 worth of Powerball tickets for a chance to win the $559.7 million prize -- a record high.

The former detective sergeant read across the numbers on one of the lines on the ticket and saw something amazing – it matched five of the five white balls drawn for the second-tier prize of $1 million.

Malvasia retired from law enforcement in 2016 and earlier this month earned his real estate license. He now works for Blueline Realty Group , an agency launched by his former colleague Alex Ferenczi.

Right off the bat, Malvasia found comfort in the overlap of policing and real estate.

"Real estate is almost like being in an interview room again," the former detective said. "It's all about how to deal with people, getting to know them, what they're thinking and what they like.

"Eventually, you match them with their forever home."

While Sara and Niles did not win the $559.7 million jackpot, their $1 million prize has set them well ahead on funding for their retirement. With their newfound prize money, they plan to retire and move to Florida in the next few years.

The pair purchased their ticket from 7-Eleven on Passaic Street in Hackensack.

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