Millinocket store clerk claims her $50,000 lottery win

Posted Dec. 16, 2009, at 8:01 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:08 p.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Rideout’s Market has sold many winning lottery tickets over the years, but clerk Rhonda Cyr might have been the first store employee ever to win, state lottery officials said Wednesday.

A store clerk, the Millinocket woman claimed a $50,000 winning ticket on Dec. 4. After taxes, Cyr collected $35,000 from a Solid Gold Crossword scratch ticket that she paid $3 for, said Michael Boardman, marketing manager for Maine State Lottery.

“It is a good-selling game. The crossword feature is very popular among our players,” Boardman said Wednesday. “It takes a little longer to play, but people really seem to like it.”

Cyr has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. A clerk at the store confirmed that Cyr worked there, but said she had finished her shift Wednesday morning.

The last big winner to buy a lottery ticket at Rideout’s was R. George Keegan, a Lincoln businessman who won $800,000 from a winning Powerball ticket that he had purchased in April 2006. He quadrupled his winnings by selecting the Powerplay option.

After Keegan’s win, state lottery officials told store owner Gary Rideout that Rideout’s was Penobscot County’s biggest ticket seller, with more than $500,000 in annual sales, in 2005. Located on Somerset Street, the store is near Millinocket Regional Hospital and draws a lot of vacationers and forest products industry workers.

Rideout isn’t sure exactly where his store’s sales placed it this year.

“I would not want to say yes that we’re the top seller, for sure, but I think we are still in the top three, easy,” Rideout said Wednesday. “We get a lot of $10,000 winners. I’d say two or three a year, sometimes more.”

Lottery ticket prices range from $1 to $20, and the store has many regular players among its customers.

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