A Maine couple is starting the new year $1 million richer.
On Dec. 29, Stephanie Lemieux and her fiancé Glenn Theriault of Turner bought 25 lottery tickets for $25 each from their local grocery store. After dividing the stack of tickets in half, the couple began trying their luck.
“There’s gotta be a big one in here,” he recalled telling himself, the Sun Journal reports.
Turns out, the 11th ticket was the charm.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and it took a second for it to sink in. I did a big karate chop on the arm of the recliner and yelled ‘I can’t believe it’ and jumped up,” Theriault said.
Lemieux admitted that she initially didn’t believe him as she watched his celebratory dance, but once she saw the ticket for herself, they cheered to the good news and called family members.
This stroke of luck was seemingly the cherry on top of a good 2020 for the pair, a year that started off with heartache following the passing of their 13-year-old chocolate lab, Baxter, in the spring.
“He was like our child and meant the world to us, especially since we were told I could never have children,” Lemieux explained to the Sun Journal. “Letting go was one of the hardest things we ever had to do but it was time and Baxter seemed to know it.”
That moment turned out to be the couple’s lowest. While last year was. unprecedentedly tough for many Americans amid the global pandemic, especially economically, Lemieux and Theriault’s small business thrived. They also found out that they were expecting their first child after losing hope that it would ever happen.
So naturally, they tried their luck with the lottery buying tickets every week.
“We save up our winners and cash them in all at once and then buy a bunch more,” Theriault admitted. “I figured we might get lucky one of these days and hit a big one. How’d that work out?”
After doing some research, they confirmed that one of the four $1 million tickets had been sold in their state, so they made an appointment with the state lottery office, but in the meantime they decided to safeguard it by taking a photo of it and locking it in a safety deposit box at their bank.
The pair then returned to the grocery store where they bought the ticket and gifted $1,000 to all of the managers that had assisted them.
“They were in shock and couldn’t believe it,” Lemieux said. “The cashier began to cry and couldn’t speak. It was such a great feeling.”
After taxes, the couple’s winnings amount to about $710,000 and they plan to use it to invest in their business and retirement as well as some treats for themselves, which may include snowmobiles and ATVs.
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