AUGUSTA, Maine — A Harrison couple who won $2.6 million from the Maine State Lottery decided to take their winnings in cash, according to Maine State Lottery Commission Acting Director Tim Poulin.
Delbert and Pamela Arey of Harrison claimed the Megabucks Plus lottery prize late Tuesday and decided they wanted to take the cash instead of the 30-year annuity. The cash amount will be $1.7 million before taxes, Poulin said Thursday. The amount is based on the annuitized jackpot, which was $2.6 million or about $89,000 a year over 30 years before taxes, he said.
The lump payment always amounts to less than the yearly payments, Poulin said. “Most everyone takes cash.”
The Areys did not return calls from the Sun Journal seeking an interview Thursday.
The Areys bought their winning ticket at Polly’s Variety on King Street in Oxford, according to the Lottery Commission.
Poulin said the Areys were “shy” about having their pictures taken when they collected the money. He said Delbert Arey told lottery officials, “We are regular customers at Polly’s and always buy our tickets on Saturday, and this was the first time we had purchased a ticket there on a Wednesday. It was a last-minute stop and we decided to buy a ticket. We are certainly glad we did.”
Lottery officials said the Areys have retained a financial adviser to manage their prize. They had the option of claiming the money under a name other than their own, such as a trust, to keep their identity secret, but they chose not to, Poulin said.
“They have stated that they are a modest couple who are looking forward to enjoying a quiet retirement and helping out their children,” lottery officials said in the statement.
Lisa Annance, owner of Polly’s Variety, said she was excited about one of her regular customers winning the jackpot. “The Areys came in that day because his truck was getting repairs done on it nearby, so I guess that turned out to be a good thing,” Annance said in a prepared statement.
The winning numbers for the Oct. 26 drawing were 10-20-30-31-33, Mega Ball 4.
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