August 6, 2019 by Carol Britton Meyer
Hingham resident Paul Burke said it's still sinking in that he just won $2 million in the Massachusetts State Lottery.
"I'm still in the process of digesting the whole thing," he told the Hingham Anchor tonight.
He purchased what turned out to be the winning ticket -- "the top prize" -- at the 7-Eleven store at 11 Sea Street in North Weymouth -- where he stops "just about every day" to buy lottery tickets -- on Friday, July 26. "The most I've ever won was a couple thousand dollars," he said.
Burke scratched the "2,000,000 50X Cashword" instant game ticket Saturday morning and at first glance thought he had won $10,000 or $20,000 dollars. When Burke took another look Sunday he was amazed to discover his true winnings. He initially thought -- but found it hard to believe -- that he had won $1 million, but when he scratched off the multiplier box in the corner and "2X" was revealed, that meant his winnings had doubled to $2 million.
Still not totally convinced, he headed for the lottery headquarters in Dorchester that handles the larger prizes, handed the ticket and an ID to the person behind the counter, and realized that he had actually won the $2 million when he heard the words, "Congratulations!"
"I put the money right into the bank. I haven't touched a penny of it," Burke said. He does have some plans for part of it, though -- a Ford Mustang, used or new (he hasn't decided yet) to replace one he sold a few years ago, helping a couple of his grandchildren with their college loans, and sharing some of the winnings with his four children.
While Burke had the option of being paid the $2 million through a $100,000 a year payment for 20 years, he chose instead the one-time reduced cash payment of $1.3 million before taxes. The store will receive a $20,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
"The odds of winning that much money are astronomical -- something like 1 in 5 million," Burke said. "It was just dumb luck that I walked into the store at the right time -- otherwise someone else would have bought that ticket."
While he said, "The taxes are ridiculous!" -- with $312,000 taken out for the federal government and $65,000 for the state taxes due -- he's not complaining. "This floored me. I'm still not over it!" he said.
Burke, who has lived at the Beal's Cove Village Condominiums since 1978, said the Hingham Anchor call was the first he had received from the press but he heard from a few friends who saw an online post about his winnings and called to congratulate him.