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AUSTINTOWN A $2M lottery win, that's the ticket!



Published: Fri, January 4, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The odds of winning on the ticket were 1 in 2.5 million.

By IAN HILL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- If Cathy Chance is looking for ways to spend her $2 million lottery prize, her daughter has some suggestions.

"I could use a car," Roxanne Alexander, 18, said. "Nails, hair, tanning ... I'm here to help."

Chance, 47, of Austintown, will have $1.39 million after taxes. She won Thursday morning on a scratch-off ticket she bought at Little Lotto Shack on Mahoning Avenue, where she works as a manager.

"I couldn't believe it," Chance said. "I still can't believe it."

She hasn't decided how she will spend the money.

"I don't have any extravagant plans," said Chance. She said that the money won't lead her to quit her job and that she plans to continue playing the lottery.

In fact, she has already purchased a ticket for this weekend's Cash Explosion drawing.

A daily tradition: Chance said she has played the lottery every day she's worked during the last nine years.

Thursday morning, she bought Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets and a losing scratch-off ticket before deciding to buy a $10 "27th Anniversary Celebration" scratch-off ticket.

To win the anniversary celebration game, lottery players must scratch the ticket to reveal a number that matches an "anniversary number" at the top left of the ticket. The player wins the amount shown under the matching number.

Chance didn't think she had won $2 million until she placed the ticket in a machine that confirms winnings.

"I went, 'Oh my God!'" Chance said. She then called relatives to spread the news.

"I flipped out," Alexander said of her reaction to learning her mother had won. "It's just a humo ngous shock."

An Ohio Lottery Commission representative presented Chance with an oversize check for the winnings Thursday afternoon.

Big tickets: Mardele Cohen, the acting communications director for the commission, said two $2 million tickets were printed and Chance's odds of winning were 1 in 2.5 million.

The second $2 million ticket has yet to be purchased.

Cohen noted that, unlike employees of the lottery commission, vendors who sell lottery tickets are allowed to play the games.

"She has nothing to do with the lottery," Cohen said of Chance. "Her likelihood of winning is as good as anyone else's."

Chance said winning was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. She has won three smaller lottery drawings and she was hoping to win the Buckeye 5 in the future.

"I hoped I'd get lucky, and I did today," she said.

hill@vindy.com




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