A Hamden woman is $1 million richer after she purchased a lottery ticket on a whim and came up a winner.
Diane Henley, a speech pathologist at Co-Op Arts & Humanities High School in New Haven, bought a “$100,000,000 Diamond Mine” ticket at Snack Plus II at 75 Putnam Ave. after learning that there were still two top prize winning tickets remaining to be claimed, according to a release from the Connecticut Lottery.
“Diamond Mine had been out for a long time, and I thought I’d give it a shot,” she said, and after purchasing a few tickets, she found herself with one of the winning million dollar tickets.
“The ticket was waiting for me with my name on it,” Henley said jokingly to Lottery officials. “I did a double take when I saw the prize, and then signed the ticket immediately.”
The prize is payable as a 20-year annuity or a one-time cash lump-sum equivalent, and Henley chose the game’s top prize lump-sum value of $578,400 before taxes, according to lottery officials. She plans to pay off some bills and invest for the future, she said.
“I still can’t believe it,” Henley said.
A CT Lottery retailer since 1998, Prashant Patel, owner of Snack Plus II, was thrilled to celebrate Henley’s incredibly good fortune.
“She’s a very good lady… one of my regular, local customers,” Patel said. “We were all shocked and very excited for her win.”
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Snack Plus II has sold their share of top prize winning instant game tickets in years past, including a “Connecticut Lottery Gold” $500,000 prize winning ticket and another $500,000 winner in the “$500,000 Cash Bonanza” game.
“I think we’re a very lucky store,” Patel said.
For selling Henley her $1,000,000 top prize winning ticket, Snack Plus II will receive a $10,000 bonus check from the CT Lottery.
“$100,000,000 Diamond Mine” debuted in February of 2009. Of the ten top prizes in the game, one more remains to be claimed. Overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.62. Odds of winning the $1,000,000 top prize are 1 in 1,400,000.