Mantua -- One ticket. That's all it took to win.
Terri Vechery, whose ticket was picked Sept. 25 at the Queen of Hearts drawing at SkyLanes in Garrettsville, bought one ticket and won $3.43 million.
The Mantua born-and-raised resident plans to use the winnings to help her community.
On Sept. 23, Vechery went to the bowling alley with her daughter to purchase a ticket "for the game that's been going on," she said.
"I'm not a gambler. My money is too important for me to spend it on stuff like that. But I figured, 'I can help my community if I win, so why not?'
"I had heard it was down to three cards and that people have been excited about it, but I was most excited about all of the money going to charities and places around town."
Besides the record-breaking Queen of Hearts drawing, SkyLanes had been offering a 50/50 raffle, which, over the last year, gave away close to $500,000 to local organizations and charities.
After watching a couple of soccer games at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Mantua, Vechery went home to cook dinner. Around 6 p.m., she thought she recalled something about the time of the drawing.
A few minutes later, an unknown number shook her phone to life, asking for a FaceTime. SkyLane owner Aaron King was on the other end, about to reveal card 5 in front of a crowd at the bowling alley.
"I watched him flip the card and he said 'It's the Queen of Hearts,' and I just asked 'Oh, what does that mean?'" she said with a chuckle. "It was a shock. But I'm happy."
A member of the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee, co-chair of Mantua's Art on the Hill, a contributor to the Community Journal newspaper, a founding member of the Mantua Village Landmarks Commission and Mantua Restoration Society, to say Vechery is involved with her community is an understatement.
After calling her lawyer and accountant, Vechery said she plans to donate some of the winnings to Mantua Village and the township.
One of the major projects she plans to invest in is the Mantua Center School restoration.
"I'll have to be thoughtful with where I go from here," she said. "But I want to help out as much as I can."
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