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Retired waitress wins millions in lottery

Jul 19, 2006, 11:21 am

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Ohio Lottery

"I'm gonna take it day to day, but I'm always gonna play," she said. 

Rosemarie Donnellan, 67, has spent her entire adult life taking care of other people.

"The lady over there, took care of her, took care of the guy next door," Donnellan said.

Donnellan, who is married with six grown children and four grandchildren, worked as a waitress at a country club.  "I'm a nice woman," she said.

And now, a very rich one, winning $4.1 million in last week's Ohio lottery.

"'Oh my God, I can't believe it,' that's how I was," she said.

In the Lorain county mobile home park where Rose and her husband, a retired plumber, have lived for 20 years, the news spread quickly.

"Just the one neighbor, the nosy one, he says 'I heard you won the lottery,' he said 'what'd you win, a thousand?' and I said no, 4.1 million," Donnellan said.

Donnellan was playing on her computer when she heard the Lot 'O Play numbers being announced on her television.  After checking her ticket four times, she realized she finally was going to be able to move out of her trailer and into the house of her dreams.

"I've been living in this trailer for 20 years," she said.  "It's time to get a house with a lot of room, a Jacuzzi and a swimming pool."

Donnellan has been buying lottery tickets for 10 years, always at the same place, and has been playing the $2 Lot 'O Play game five times a week for the past six months.  She used the auto lotto feature and chose the cash option to receive a little more than $2 million before federal and state withholding taxes, which total 31 percent.

Donnellan has already sought the efforts of a friend in real estate to start looking for a house in the area, and the only other item remaining on her wish list is a horse that's eluded her since 1965.

"I had all kinds of Ford Mustangs," she said. "A '64, '66, '67 and '68, but I've never had a '65. I just loved the way it looked, and I've always wanted one."

The ticket was purchased at a North Ridgeville Convenient Food Mart located at 34441 Center Ridge Road. The store will receive a $1,000 agent bonus for selling the winning ticket, according to the Ohio Lottery Commission.

Convenient manager Joe Hendrickson said Donnellan is a usual customer to the store, and informed employees that she had won late Friday afternoon.  Tammy Walker sold Rose the winning ticket.

"I was excited she won, she really could use it," Walker said.

"It's not going to go to my head, I'm not joining no country club," Donnellan said. "God kissed me on the forehead and I'm going to kiss him back."

By way of a very generous gift, she plans to donate to a local children's charity.

Rose Donnellan, 67, won $4.1 million last week playing Ohio's Lot 'O Play game.

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