ADVERTISEMENT

During a recent routine stop at the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and greeting cards, Kenmore resident Margaret Dolan pocketed a big lottery winner. But she didn’t know it for days.

“I put it in my purse; I actually forgot I had it for a couple days,” she said of the New York State Lottery “Win for Life” scratch-off game she purchased at a Rite Aid in the Town of Tonawanda. “About two days later I was home doing some schoolwork and I scratched it off and found out I was a winner.”

Even then, she waited a few more days while debating with friends whether her fortune was real until finally claiming her prize Oct. 9 at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center at 165 Genesee St.

Dolan opted to receive her guaranteed $1 million prize as a one-time, lump sum payment of $513,979 after taxes.

“I was pretty shocked, really, really nervous and wanted to be sure it was real,” she said. “I felt extremely lucky and very fortunate. It’s going to help my retirement.”

The Buffalo Public Schools special education teacher posed Friday with a blown-up check presented by the Lottery’s Jina Myers in the store at Colvin Boulevard and Sheridan Drive.

“It’s not really going to change my life,” said Dolan, 53. “I have a few more years left of teaching. It’s going to help my retirement. Being a Buffalo schoolteacher for all these years, we’ve been pretty much behind the eight ball with the contract, so it’s definitely going to help me have a more comfortable retirement.”

She was the fifth lottery player in Erie County to win or share a $1 million prize in 2013, according to lottery officials.

“I’m going to take a couple vacations, and help out my family and pay off some bills,” Dolan added.

email: jpopiolkowski@buffnews.com