One Maine couple can’t believe their luck this week after their winning lottery numbers came up for a second time. Robert and Jeanne Gagnon scooped the $3 million Tri-State Megabucks Lottery jackpot on February 19, 27 years after the same combination appeared for the first time.
The Gagnons have been playing the same numbers – 2, 4, 11, 17, 18 and 28 – since the lottery first began in 1985 and although they’ve seen their combination come up twice, they’ve only been able to claim one prize. “I had all the numbers,” Jeanne Gagnon said on Wednesday. “But my husband forgot to pick up a ticket that day.”
“I’ve been hearing about it ever since,” Robert said, shaking his head.
Thankfully, the pair persevered and 27 years later they struck it lucky once again, earning a prize worth $3 million in the Megabucks draw. However, the couple had to wait over a week to claim their prize as severe storms battered the state. The pair finally ventured to the lottery office in Augusta on Monday morning.
“They took us from room to room,” Jeanne Gagnon said. “Then we got to the person who asked us how we wanted to receive the money.” The Gagnons, who have been happily married for 47 years, opted for the annuity payments.
“If we had taken the lump sum we would have lost $700,000 right off to taxes,” Jeanne Gagnon said. “I wasn’t having that.” Jeanne promised her thrifty attitude would continue despite the win; “I am still using my newspaper coupons,” she said. “That will never stop.” The couple has also consulted an experienced financial advisor on how to wisely handle their windfall.
After nearly 30 years to think about how they’d spend a big win, the Gagnons have no extravagant plans on the horizon. They intend to set up an estate to ensure their disabled son is always looked after and if they feel like they need it, buy a tractor-operated snow blower. They also plan to continue playing the lottery; “I bought a ticket this morning,” Jeanne Gagnon said.
With luck like theirs, we may be hearing about a third big win for the Gagnon’s in the near future.