CURTICE, Ohio - Outside Shirley's Carry Out, a small convenience store across from the railroad tracks in this unincorporated community, people mill about, smoking and chatting on wooden benches.
Owner Shirley Loofborow, 69, says the same customers come every day.
But today one of them just won the lottery.
The winner of Ohio's second Powerball jackpot in three weeks has yet to claim the prize money from the June 23 drawing, Ohio Lottery officials said Thursday.
But anyone who comes forward with the winning Ohio ticket in the next 179 days will split the $97 million jackpot with another winning ticket sold in Montana.
While that lucky Ohio ticketholder might be waiting to cash in, Shirley's Carryout is enjoying the effects of the winning draw.
Lottery officials visited the store yesterday morning and presented Ms. Loofborow with a $48,500 retailer bonus check.
Stores that sell winning tickets receive $1,000 for every million in the jackpot, with a $100,000 maximum.
Ms. Loofborow and two of her employees, Tamy Fuzinski, 49, and Jamie Rahe, 49, were all wearing Powerball T-shirts yesterday.
Ms. Loofborow said she had been fielding congratulatory calls all morning.
Ms. Rahe, the employee on duty when the ticket was sold, said Ms. Loofborow called her at 6:40 Thursday morning to tell her the news.
"I'm shocked," Ms. Rahe said. "To know that I had that amount of money in my hands and sold it to someone else is a good feeling."
Ms. Loofborow said the retailer bonus will go toward fixing the roof on the house next to the store, which she owns and rents out, as well as to other repairs. She said the rest of the money goes into the bank.
Ms. Fuzinski and Ms. Rahe said they are glad for Ms. Loofborow's lucky break.
"I'm glad Shirley is finally getting what she needs," Ms. Fuzinski said. "She's the best boss anyone could ask for."
Glenn Poulson, 75, who rents the adjacent house, agreed that Ms. Loofborow is a deserving recipient of the retailer bonus.
But beyond Shirley's Carryout, Curtice residents said this win will be good for morale in this community about 12 miles southeast of Toledo.
Curtice straddles Lucas and Ottawa counties, and Ottawa County's unemployment rate, which was 10.8 percent in May, has topped 18 percent at times in the current economic downturn.
The area suffered great damage from the tornadoes that hit the region earlier this month.
"We've had our share of bad news," Ms. Rahe said. "This is just a positive."
Shirley's Carry Out has sold many winning tickets over the years for small prizes, as well as a scratch-off game in 2004 that yielded one Curtice resident $100,000.
Ms. Loofborow said she tells ticket-buying customers that if one of them wins, they will have to wear a T-shirt stating where they bought their winning ticket.
She said she had "no idea" who the latest winner was, but Mr. Poulson hinted that it was a friend of his. He added that the winner had previously won $100,000 in a 2008 lottery draw.
It has been just two months since the Ohio Lottery began selling tickets for Powerball, a multistate, multimillion-dollar game, in addition to the existing Mega Millions lotto and various other games.
The 18-year-old Powerball, which existed in 41 states when Ohio joined, starts with a $20 million jackpot and rises steadily until someone wins.
The Ohio Lottery has sold $19.3 million worth of Powerball tickets since sales started in the state on April 16.
In the 2009 fiscal year, the Ohio Lottery contributed $702.3 million to public education across the state, a number which lottery officials said they expect to rise to $720 million for the current fiscal year.
The lottery has contributed $17 billion to public education across the state since 1974.
Contact Greta Stetson at:
or 419-724-6050.41.61987 -83.3703