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Flanagan lottery winners to be introduced

(MCT) — FLANAGAN — Bob Baker thought he had enough change to buy a Powerball lottery ticket last Wednesday at Bart’s Supermarket while on his regular rounds as a meat inspector.

“He had two quarters, four dimes and two nickels,” said store manager Rockey Patel.

When Patel told him the tickets were $2 each, Baker started to walk away.

That’s when Patel made a million-dollar decision. “I threw in a dollar and said I’ll get the other half,” Patel said.

Baker took the printed ticket and walked out the door.

At 6 a.m. the next day, the news broke that a ticket sold from his store matched five of the six winning numbers and was in line for a $1 million prize.

Two hours later, Patel and Baker independently checked the numbers on the ticket they shared. The long-time friends called each other almost simultaneously.

“I said, ‘Don’t lose that ticket, it’s a winner,” Patel said.

They will be presented Thursday with an oversized $1 million check to represent the cash prize.

“I’m thrilled,” Patel told The Pantagraph Wednesday. “But I couldn’t tell anybody right off the bat. I even had media calling and I couldn’t tell them because of the security reasons. Then we had to get the paperwork completed.”

Patel, 38, will use his half of the prize to put his kids — a 9-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son — through college. He also plans to talk with a financial advisor, but doesn’t plan to quit the managerial job he has had for eight years.

His cousin is owner of the store.

“I’m not going to quit, because I love Flanagan and I love my job,” he said. “This is just a great community and I love it here.”

The store will receive $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.

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