Sandra Grant of Edgartown wanted to save some money on groceries, so she drove to Reliable Market in Oak Bluffs Saturday. On the way, she stopped at Our Market to buy a Mass Lottery scratch ticket.
Sandra, a tour bus driver for Island Transport in the summer, no longer has to check sale flyers. She walked out of the Oak Bluffs package store with a Billion Dollar Blockbuster game ticket worth $10 million.
It is the largest instant prize in the history of lotteries in the United States. Sandra received the first of 20 annuity checks for $500,000 before taxes from Lottery executive director Mark Cavanagh Tuesday.
Our Market, located on Oak Bluffs Harbor, scored big as well. The store will receive a $50,000 bonus for selling the $20 scratch ticket for the Lottery's newest instant game.
Sandra is well known on the Island as the owner of seven miniature horses, and as a skilled and experienced horse transporter. In the off-season she drives a taxi part-time.
Yesterday, Sandra told The Times she decided to go to Reliable because the family-owned market was having a good sale. At Our Market, she bought two Instant Lottery tickets, one for $10 and another for $20.
The first ticket was a loser. She scratched boxes on the second ticket. When she got to the last row two dollar signs appeared. "I was thinking, oh good, I probably got my $20 back," she said. "And it said $10 million. And I was just looking at it and looking at it and thinking, gee, is this right?"
Sandra described herself as a very quiet person. "I don't yell and scream and make a scene," she said.
She decided to speak to the manager, but he was on the phone. So she went back to the clerk, Nick Robinson, who sold her the ticket. "I think I am looking at this right, but my stomach is in knots, and I'm a little bit queasy. Am I looking at this ticket right," she asked him.
Nick, a longtime seasonal visitor and employee who had been working at the store for about three months after returning from a stint teaching English in Japan, examined the ticket, looked at Sandra and smiled. "Yeah," he said. "It's $10 million."
Sandra asked him, "What do I do now?"
Nick showed the ticket to the manager. His reaction would echo the reaction of people across the Vineyard: "Wow, $10 million?"
The manager processed the ticket through the Lottery machine. Nick, who leaves for graduate school in Australia today, told The Times, "She was as cool as a cucumber about it."
And that was that. Sandra left and went shopping for all her sale items. She did allow herself a few extras.
A lifelong Edgartown resident, Sandra had plenty of relatives to call. They screamed plenty, she said.
On Tuesday, she and her boyfriend, Larry Snyder, went to Lottery headquarters in Braintree. She waited patiently in line and presented her claim form to the woman at the counter when it was her turn. "She looked at it; then she looked at me; then she looked down; then she looked at me again and smiled," said Sandra.
The woman said it would take about 40 minutes to process. Sandra did not mind the delay. "I thought, well that's fine," she said, "because this is a big-time one, this is not a million, this is 10 million, that's what I kept saying to myself. This is not a million, this is 10."
Monday, Nov. 19, is Sandra's birthday. She and Larry plan to dine out and see a show at Foxwoods Casino. Sandra has no extravagant spending plans. For now she said she might take a cruise and visit her brother in Florida. Beyond that, she said, "I've always been good about paying my bills, so I just want to pay a whole bunch of my bills off, not that I had a lot."