March 4, 2013

Mainer wins $2 million; hopes to land job

By Leslie Bridgers
Staff Writer

CANAAN — Most people who play the lottery are hoping to retire early. Now that James Lovell has won Powerball, he hopes to start working.

The 59-year-old truck driver from Clinton, who is unemployed, believes that his exposure from winning $2 million could be his ticket to a new job, according to the Maine State Lottery.

Lovell, who has already ordered a new truck and started trusts for his granddaughters with his winnings, didn't respond to requests for an interview Monday.

Tom Ward, owner of the Canaan Superette, said he got a call on Feb. 25 from a lottery official who asked if he'd heard the big news.

"We had sold a $30,000 scratch ticket about a week before," Ward said, so he assumed that's what the call was about.

Instead, he learned that he had sold the $2 million Powerball ticket.

Lovell, a regular at the Canaan Superette, stopped by the next day to check his tickets against the winning numbers from the previous weekend's drawing.

The first five numbers matched: 02-05-31-39-41. That meant $1 million.

And Lovell had paid the extra dollar for the Power Play option, doubling his winnings.

The clerk, Traci Knowlton, double-checked the numbers and delivered the news.

"He was in shock," said Ward.

Lovell usually stops at the store to buy lottery tickets on his way to pick up his wife from her job as a school social worker. That's just what he was doing last week when he learned that he had won.

The story, according to the Maine State Lottery, is that when Lovell's wife got into his truck at the school, he asked her if she wanted to kiss a millionaire and showed her the ticket.

She obliged, but then told him they couldn't kiss in the schoolyard.

The truck Lovell that ordered is a blue-jean blue V8 diesel, equipped with a plow, according to the lottery. His two granddaughters who now have trusts are 3 years old and six months old.

He has three children.

Ward expects to get a banner from the Maine State Lottery this week to put up at his store. The lottery pays bonuses to retailers that sell winning Powerball tickets.

"It was awesome. It was exciting," Ward said of selling the $2 million ticket.

Before the $30,000 scratch ticket last month -- Ward still doesn't know who bought that one -- the most a customer of the Canaan Superette had won was $5,000.

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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