BELFAST, Maine — First thing on Monday morning, just like he always does, longtime maintenance man Norman Gilmore cleaned up Belfast City Hall.
Then he diverged from his usual routine in a big way. The 45-year-old Brooks man hopped in his pickup truck and drove to Augusta, where he had an important meeting — to pick up the $100,000 check he had won over the weekend after playing a $5 Maine State Lottery scratch ticket.
“I got all weak,” Gilmore recalled of the moment Sunday afternoon when he realized he was a big winner. “My legs got all weak. I had all I could do to just keep standing.”
In fact, the devoted scratch ticket player said he had almost not bothered to check that ticket because he had just won $200 on another ticket he purchased that day at Perry’s Quik Stop in Belfast.
And when he did scratch off the numbers, the meaning didn’t immediately sink in.
“He didn’t believe it. He was very disbelieving,” Rose Knowlton, a cashier who sold him the ticket, said Monday. “Norm is one of our regular coffee customers. He’s a great guy — a very nice guy. We are excited. It’s not everyday that you sell such a big winner to a normal customer.”
Gilmore, who has worked for the city of Belfast for 22 years, said that he’s not planning to make any major changes to his life because of his lottery windfall. He’ll keep right on doing general maintenance and facility care for Belfast.
“I’m not ashamed to do anything,” he said.
After paying state and federal taxes Monday in Augusta, Gilmore brought a $70,000 check back to Waldo County with him, and went to the bank first thing.
“We’re going to let everything settle down for a second. Then we’ll think about what we’re going to do,” he said. “It’ll ease up a whole bunch of burdens, though.”
One of the first things he knows he’ll do is provide some spending money to his girlfriend for an upcoming visit to her sister in Pennsylvania.
“She can go there and not worry about anything,” Gilmore said.
His son, Tony Gilmore, said that his dad is the kind of guy who does a lot for everybody.
“Tinkering around helping people,” he said. “He never wants to get charged for it. He just wants to do it to help people.”
His dad said that this might be a good time to stop buying lottery tickets.
“I’m probably to the good now,” he said. “Time to stop buying.”
Later in the conversation, however, he said that maybe it’s too early to give up the game.
“I already bought new tickets,” Gilmore said.