Byline: Susan Spencer
MILLBURY - Kathleen A. Crewe, 57, called in sick to work as controller at Goretti's Supermarket yesterday for probably the first time in the 17 years she's worked there.
She wasn't exactly playing hooky - her stomach was in knots, she said. But she called store owner Mark Goretti to tell him the real scoop: Ms. Crewe was the top winner in the Massachusetts Lottery's $10 Million Raffle drawing on New Year's Day and was driving into lottery headquarters in Braintree to claim her $7 million prize.
After state and federal taxes were taken from the lump-sum award, the Ramshorn Road resident received a check for $4.9 million.
The single mother even kept her surprise from her children, Quinsigamond Community College student Colleen, 21, and former Marine and current Worcester State University student Kyle, 24, until 45 minutes before they left the house. She had kept the winning lottery ticket hidden in a thermos placed inside an aluminum wine cooler to keep it safe over the holiday weekend, she said.
"I went stir crazy for two days," she said. "I only told one sister and my accountant."
Ms. Crewe said she rarely buys lottery tickets, but this drawing piqued her interest because at the time she bought her ticket, relatively few tickets had been sold.
"Everyone at work was buying them because of the good odds," she said.
Lottery officials said in a news release that a total of 1,022 players won cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $7 million.
Gary S. Francis, Goretti's store manager, said he heard about Ms. Crewe's winning for the first time yesterday evening.
"My grocery manager called me and said he saw it on Telegram.com," he said.
Mr. Francis said Ms. Crewe had been at work on Monday, but he didn't think anyone had any idea that the local ticket winner was one of their own employees.
"She kind of kept it quiet," he said.