Lottery winner from Salem finds the joy in receiving

By Burton Speakman


A shaking, happy and newly richer Salem man was surprised with a check for $2 million Wednesday after years of playing scratch-off games.

John Cramer was told he had won the Friday Ohio Lottery Top Prize Drawing at Kuzman’s in Girard. Cramer was entered in the drawing for the top prize after winning $5,500 on a $20 Lucky Millionaire instant ticket. He was one of 24 people with a chance to win $2 million.

The initial shock of winning left Cramer shaking, but thankful that he had won.

“I don’t know what to say,” he said.

After getting over the initial shock, Cramer said he would use some of the money for a vacation to Florida.

Although he knew he was a contestant for the big prize, the announcement was a shock because the lottery commission told him the wrong date for the winner to be announced.

“They had told me they weren’t going to announce the winner until Monday. It’s not Monday,” he said.

“When we first heard about it, we thought it was a scam,” said Rose Cramer, John’s wife. “Then we Googled the woman’s name and saw that she was from the lottery, so we knew it was legit.”

Rose said she had been complaining to her husband for years about his habit of buying scratch-off tickets.

“I would complain to him about buying them and say he’s never going to win,” she said.

The lottery coordinated the surprise with Ciera Cramer, John’s daughter and a senior at Slippery Rock University, to make sure her father was unaware.

“With it being that good of news, you really want to tell him,” she said. “My dad likes to call me every day, so I had to ignore a few of his calls and text him using the excuse I was at work.”

There was one of John Cramer’s children who the family was worried would tell his father and anyone else.

“They told me on the way here,” said John Cramer Jr.

Rose said she had to take away her son’s phone after telling him or the news would have been all over Facebook and Twitter.

John Cramer said winning the money wasn’t going to change his life, but it would make things easier.

“I’ve got two girls who both need cars,” he said.

After taking a couple of days off for the holiday and to spend time with his new grandchildren, who were born last Thursday, John Cramer said he will return to his job at AIM Logistics in Girard.

“My boss asked me this morning if I liked my job. I guess now I know why,” he said.

Cramer bought his winning ticket at the Sparkle Market in Salem. He chose the annuity option, which will pay him $100,000 annually for 20 years.

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