Man gives away winning lottery tickets at Maine restaurant

By Ben Hooper
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Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A Maine man who bought 56 winning lottery tickets using his prize money from a previous jackpot gave the $420 tickets away at his favorite restaurant.

The 77-year-old man, who wanted to be identified only as Hal, said he won his first $2 million jackpot in a Maine Lottery second-chance drawing where he submitted his losing tickets in April.


"I was there in the audience with my son and my daughter," Hal told ABC News. "I said, 'Lord if you want me to win this and do any good with it, call my name now,' and boom, my name was called."

Hal, who took home $1.4 million after taxes, said he continued to play the lottery and purchased 56 $5 Pick 3 tickets for a recent drawing. The tickets all bore the same numbers.

"I happened to have a whim on a number and I said that's a good number and I just bought it a number of times. The same number. And sure enough, the whim paid off," Hal told WCSH-TV.

Hal took his stack of $420 winning tickets to Lori's Diner, his favorite restaurant in Liberty.


"I knew most of the waitresses down there. Once in awhile there's a new one in there. They're girls that work hard," he said.

The cafe's owner, Lori Mayer, said it was initially unclear what Hal, a regular well-known to many on staff, was up to when he brought in the tickets.

"He was sitting at the counter and a young girl was doing dishes. It was only her second day working here," Mayer said. "He said, 'Have you been busy today?' and she said, 'Oh yeah,' and he whipped out one of the tickets and said, 'Well, why don't you have this today.'"

Mayer said Hal then waved her over and gave her one of the tickets.

Hal passed out several tickets to workers and customers. He returned a few days later to pass out more of the tickets, including to Mayer's mother and aunt.

"We all were so excited," Mayer said. "Most of the girls who work here go to college or are single moms."

Hal said he passed out the remaining tickets to strangers at locations such as gas stations and grocery stores.

"It's something I've done all the time, maybe not on that scale," Hal said of his giveaway. "Everything that I do is in direct relation to God."


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