$10 Million Lottery Ticket Man's Parting Gift to Wife (Photo)

charlotte peters photo taken on january 2 2009

Donald Peters purchased a lottery ticket on November 1 ,2008, in Danbury, Connecticut.  The act was a ritual that he had undertaken faithfully for 20 years.   Peters bought 10 weeks worth of tickets at a time from the 7-Eleven Convenience Store located at 29 Mill Plain Road, and then put them away for safekeeping, checking the appropriate one out after each drawing.

The 79 year old suffered a fatal heart attack while working in his yard without ever knowing that his ticket for the December 2 drawing would win a $10,022,823 lottery jackpot.  Some might even suggest that he had some influence from the other side of the grave.

Peters widow, Charlotte Peters,  in her grief, had set the tickets aside and only recently decided to see if she had any winners among the forgotten slips.  She said, "I was in the grocery store and I had it checked and they told me I was a winner.  I had no idea how much it was."

Charlotte visited the Connecticut Lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill on Friday.   Peters first words to lottery officials were, "It's certainly more than the $2 I'm used to winning."  The winning numbers were 02-07-09-27-33.

Peters has 60 days to decided whether she wants to take a lump-sum payment of $6,048,077 before taxes or take the full amount in yearly payment of $477,300 stretching over 21 years.

When the 78 year old was asked what she planned to do with the money, she said, "I've always wanted a Corvette."  In the next breath she said she thought she'd stick with her old car.  "I'm going to go home and sit and think."

The Danbury 7-Eleven store will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Connecticut Lottery.