Presque Isle man wins $9.875 million

Kathy McCarty, Special to The County
17 years ago
    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – It’s been two weeks since a local man purchased a Megabucks ticket at Ray’s Corner Variety that later made him a millionaire, but at presstime his identity was not being released, with only family, friends and employees of Ray’s privy to that information.

    The winning numbers for the August 15 drawing were 7-10-12-16-19-21, with the bonus number of 17. The winning ticket matched all six numbers for the jackpot win. According to Maine Lottery officials, it is the highest Tri-State Megabucks jackpot since 1993. A $10,000 winning ticket was also sold at the Big Apple in Auburn for that evening’s drawing.
Barry and Raylene Shaw, the store’s owners, were surprised when an employee called to inform them of the win.
“We received a call at home shortly after 9 p.m. that evening from an employee,” said Raylene Shaw in a Maine Lottery press release.
The couple’s first reaction was to think something had gone wrong at the convenience store that opened just two years ago.
“The employee had to tell us the good news several times before it registered,” Shaw continued. “We’re still in somewhat of a daze. It’s such a wonderful thing to have happen.”
Following the news of the big win, Shaw told officials the next morning her phone began to ring early.
“When we opened at 5:30 a.m. the next morning, the phone just rang off the hook,” said Shaw.
The store, located at 70 Academy Street, has seen an increased interest in ticket sales since the ticket was sold. Shaw told officials it’s been good for business, since not only is she seeing old customers by taking their employees out to dinner.
Shaw and her staff have since discovered the identity of the ticket holder but, at the request of the winner, refuse to name names. It wasn’t immediately know where the winner hailed from, only that the winning ticket had been sold at a Presque Isle store.
“We’re happy for the winner, a gentleman from Presque Isle,” said Shaw.
In addition to the winner receiving a big paycheck for one night’s purchase, Ray’s will also benefit from selling the winning ticket. The store will receive around $30,000 for making the sale. The Shaws had plans in mind for this week to mark the occasion but details remained in the works.
Several calls to Dan Gwadosky, the director of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations, seeking to identify the winner had not been returned at press time.
According to the Maine Lottery Web site, www.mainelottery.com, Maine has had the most jackpot winners  in the Tri-State area. As of June 2004 (the latest date records were available for) Maine had 187 winners, with New Hampshire second at 148 and Vermont recording 75 winners.
Lottery proceeds are put into the state’s General Fund which supports 250 state agencies and programs that provide a wide range of services for the citizens of Maine.
Players have the option of selecting an annuity payment payable over a 25-year period or the cash option of a one-time cash payment when a winning ticket is claimed.
Megabucks tickets can be purchased daily. The cutoff time for ticket sales is 7:50 p.m. (ET) on the day of the draw, which occur every Wednesday and Saturday.
For more information on Megabucks and Maine’s lottery games, visit the above Web site. Maine Lottery officials encourage everyone to play responsibly.