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Waterford store owner 'very happy' about sale of $2.9 million winning lottery ticket

Waterford — Posters proclaiming past winning lottery prize amounts, from prizes won in scratch games to $100,000 from a Cash5 game, are displayed on the wall at A1 Quick and Easy.

The convenience store and gas station at 239 Boston Post Road has sold even more winning tickets but ran out of room to put them on the board, owner Suraj KC said.

But the store had never sold a ticket with a prize this substantial: $2.9 million.

A customer at the store bought the winning Lotto! ticket with the numbers 4, 14, 21, 22, 24, 25 in Tuesday's drawing. The jackpot winner has not yet come forward to claim the ticket, which will expire July 10, according to the CT Lottery's website.

KC said with a smile Thursday that he was "very happy" a customer bought the winning ticket in Waterford.

KC, who lives in Waterford, said that when a lottery representative called him Wednesday morning to say congratulations, he wasn't expecting the jackpot to be $2.9 million.

He said that as a retailer, he will get a $10,000 commission if the ticket is claimed. He said he plans to split the money, after taxes, with store employees. One has been with the store since its opening five years ago and another has worked there for three years. He said they're both nice and hardworking.

KC bought the Waterford store five years ago, when he had been working at a store in Massachusetts for several years and wanted to open his own business. He was looking for stores in Massachusetts to purchase but found the options to be very expensive. A friend told him about the opportunity in Waterford.

Since then, he has opened up another store: A1 Mart in Willimantic.

With some of the commission money, he said he also plans to buy a nice sign to say the Waterford store sold the winning ticket. There is already a red sign outside that says the store sold the winning $100,000 Cash5 ticket — that sale was a few months ago to a local customer.

A sign at the counter on Thursday notified customers that the store has sold the winning ticket for the $2.9 million jackpot and asked them to check their tickets.

Waterford resident Sandy Poulos, who was at the store Thursday, said she saw the news of the jackpot winner on TV and thought "Oh my God, you're kidding me?" and wondered why she didn't buy a ticket. She said she comes to the store every day to pick up a few things and once in a while she will buy a ticket.

"Well, congratulations," she told KC as she finished her purchase. "You deserve it. You guys work hard."

Customer Cathy Bishop, also of Waterford, was pleased to hear that the store had sold the winning ticket. "I was very happy," she said. "I come down here all the time. They're very nice guys, and it's nice to see someone in Waterford won."

k.drelich@theday.com

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