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Cleveland man wins $1 million in lottery

Auto parts salesman purchased Millionaire Mania ticket in Gainesville

POSTED: April 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Demetrius Freeman/The Times

Timothy Martin of Cleveland purchased a winning stratch-off ticket worth $1 million at the Little Giant grocery in Chicopee. Martin was presented with his check from the Georgia Lottery on Friday at the store.

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CHICOPEE — One day after the Georgia Lottery’s Millionaire Mania tickets went on sale, Timothy Martin scratched it rich in a Chicopee grocery store.

Martin, a salesman at Complete Auto Parts, was the first in the state to win $1 million on the instant game, and it all happened in the Little Giant Grocery Store on Atlanta Highway — a place Martin has been familiar with for years.

The 50-year-old salesman used to work at the store when he was a teenager, and these days, he stops by just about every day to buy a lottery ticket.

On Wednesday, Martin walked into Little Giant Grocery as usual, bought the new $10 ticket and took it to the back of the store to give it a scratch.

He did not believe what he found. Martin had instantly won $1 million.

"I put my glasses on to make sure," said the Cleveland resident.

Once his glasses proved the reality of his million-dollar win, Martin showed his ticket to the owner of the store, Allen McClure. McClure was just as shocked as Martin, but there was no jumping up and down involved in the after-win excitement.

"I ain’t that type of person," Martin said. "(I’m) calm, calm and collected."

Martin’s calm behavior may be because the salesman is not new to lottery luck. He won $50,000 playing the Georgia Lottery about two years ago, he said.

Martin has not planned a spending spree; he does not even know how he will spend his money. Martin said he is taking the check straight to the bank, and will share some of it with his church.

McClure said Martin’s million-dollar win, which will come home as about $690,000 after taxes, has already brought more people into the Little Giant Grocery to see if they, too, can be a lucky lottery winner. McClure expects even more people to come into the store to play the lottery after word spreads further of Martin’s win

"Word of mouth advertising is the best kind," McClure said.

As for Martin, he, too, plans to keep taking his chances with the Georgia Lottery.

"I bought tickets (for) tonight," Martin said.



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