BAR HARBOR — Peter Alley is “a little overwhelmed” after winning $500,000 in the Maine State Lottery last month, his second large lottery payout in less than two years.

The Bar Harbor resident received a check for $355,000 after taxes were withheld, Maine State Lottery spokeswoman Angie Helton said.

Alley purchased the winning ticket, for the $20 instant scratch-off game “$500,000 Payout,” at a Portland convenience store.

The odds of winning the maximum award of $500,000 are 137,143 to 1, according to the Maine State Lottery website. Alley, a maintenance supervisor for the Mount Desert Island Regional School System, also won a $100,000 prize from the Maine State Lottery in December 2017, netting $70,000 after taxes.

Peter Alley of Bar Harbor won $500,000 from the Maine State Lottery in June. It was the second large lottery payout the school district employee had won in as many years. Courtesy of Lisa Skiff

Maybe the good luck stems from good karma.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission recognized Alley in 2006 for saving a man from a burning truck by dragging him through one of the vehicle’s windows after a predawn accident in Bar Harbor on Jan. 13 of that year.


The truck had slid on ice, struck a tree and caught fire. Moments after Alley dragged the unconscious driver to safety, “an explosive burst of flame engulfed the vehicle,” a statement from the commission said at the time. Alley received a medal and a $4,000 grant.

Recently, Alley had been making regular trips to Portland for medical treatment following shoulder surgery. The convenience store was next door to the doctor’s office, and he got to know the clerks there. Each time he got himself a scratch ticket, he bought a $2 ticket for the clerk on duty as well.

On the day he bought the winning ticket, Alley was with his daughter. “Do you think that’s a real ticket?” he remembers asking her skeptically after scratching off the winning numbers.

Alley’s other daughter and his wife, Lisa Skiff, joined them later. Alley told Skiff he had won something, but did not disclose the amount.

Stopping at a restaurant on their way home, Alley told his daughters to order anything they wanted, prompting Skiff to ask, “How much did you actually win?”

Even though he has worked for the school district for 30 years, he doesn’t plan to retire early.

“I love this job,” he said of his position as director of maintenance for Conners Emerson School.

“I’m going to buy a little secondhand boat,” Alley said, when asked how he plans to spend the money. Beyond that, he will use it to save for retirement.

“This certainly helps,” he said.

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