By Marjorie Nesin
---- — A woman who had just bought a Lottery ticket ambled back into a Gloucester liquor store, scratch ticket in hand, and a confused look on her face Friday morning.
She looked to the owner and asked, “Am I seeing things?”
Liquor Locker owner Wayne Campbell confirmed that the woman’s vision was just fine; she had, in fact, bought a $1 million winning lottery ticket at his Main Street store. While Campbell was uncomfortable identifying her, he said he has known the Gloucester woman and her whole family for years.
“She started to cry and I was ecstatic for her,” Campbell said. “I just couldn’t believe it either.”
When the woman bought a $10 scratch ticket from a new game that premiered June 11 called $4,000,000 Jackpot, she had just a one in 1.7 million chance at winning a million-dollar prize, according to the Massachusetts Lottery website.
Campbell said Friday he had noticed a sign at a Danvers shop Thursday night exclaiming that someone had won big there, too. That sign popped back into his mind Friday morning, when the woman re-entered the store about 10:30 a.m.
“I was saying to myself, ‘My God, we sell a lot of tickets, and (with) all the tickets I’ve sold, none of my customers have had a real big scratch ticket before,” Campbell said.
The Liquor Locker will earn one percent of the $1 million — or $10,000. The store has sold a couple $50,000 winning tickets in the past, but this was the first time in Campbell’s 30 years at the store that he saw such a big winner.
Before the woman realized her scratch ticket was a winner, she had mentioned plans of heading out of town this weekend, Campbell said. A lottery spokeswoman said that the Lottery had yet to hear from the woman Friday afternoon. A person has up to one year to redeem a winning ticket, but any ticket with winnings over $600 must be turned in in person at the Lottery’s Braintree headquarters.
When she does cash in her winnings, the Gloucester woman will have the option of a $650,000 cash payout, with taxes deducted, or take out the cash in disbursements over a 20 year period, according to lottery spokeswoman Beth Bresnahan. If she chooses the long term disbursements, her first payment would be $35,000, Bresnahan said.
“It all depends upon the individual, some people come right in, some people wait a couple days, some people wait months,” Bresnahan said.
Lottery figures show that Tony’s Variety on Washington Street is Gloucester’s lead lottery sales location, vending about $2.8 million in tickets last year, while the Liquor Locker dispensed closer to $1 million in tickets annually, according to Bresnahan.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.