Fairfielder wins $1 million on scratch off

There didn't appear to be anything different about Friday morning for Robert Connelly. Like he had so many times before, he dropped into News Stop on Stratfield Road to try his luck at a few scratch off lottery tickets.

Connelly drove up the street to his home and scratched off the three tickets -- No. 17, 18 and 19. No winners.

"I thought to myself, I bet that next ticket is a winner," he said Tuesday. And, boy, was he right.

The very next ticket -- No. 20 -- a $10 scratch off called $70 Million Blockbuster, was a $1 million winner.

Connelly said he was blown away. Yet the moment was bitter sweet for him. "I cried like a baby," he said. "I lost my mom [Mildred] about a year and a half ago and I just wish she could have been around to share in my joy."

Rather than opt for the 20-year annuity, Connelly chose to receive his winnings in one lump-sum -- $425,525 after taxes.

Unlike so many winners before him, Connelly did not scream out that he is going to Disney World and he is not planning any extravagant vacations. He's going to fix up his house a bit.

The first call he made after winning Friday was to his attorney. "I just felt like it was the prudent thing to do," Connelly said.

Irwing "Joe" D'Costa, owner of News Stop, said that he was so excited for Connelly. "I was very happy. I was ecstatic myself," he said.

Connelly said he was particularly pleased that a Fairfield resident was the winner, and not just a person passing through town on the busy thoroughfare -- Route 59. D'Costa said Connelly is the biggest winner he's seen in the year he has owned the shop. Previous owners told him that they never sold a million-dollar winner.

D'Costa has other news to make him happy. For selling the lucky scratch-off ticket, the Connecticut Lottery will present him with a $10,000 check.

D'Costa said Connelly has not purchased any more scratch-offs since Friday, but that he is sure he'll see him again soon. Asked if he would be pressing his luck anytime soon, Connelly replied: "Sure. Why not? I'll buy them just for the heck of it. They're fun."

D'Costa said, "You know, the thing is this, why not?"

"I do believe there is more to come in the store," he added.

The possibility is certainly there, too, as two more "Blockbuster" top prizes remain. Overall odds in the $70 Million Blockbuster are 1 in 3.77.

Connelly reminded people, though, "That doesn't always mean you'll win something every three or so times."