The Block Island Times

N.J. man wins $1 million lottery ticket on Block Island

By Lars Trodson | Jul 18, 2014
Photo by: Kari Curtis Alex McWilliams, at left, and Alton Bentley sold and scanned the $1 million scratch ticket at the Block Island Pharmacy this week.

It could have been any one of us, but it wasn’t.

On Monday, July 14, a vacationer from New Jersey took a moment out of his day to walk into the Block Island Pharmacy on High Street to buy a $20 scratch ticket and ended up winning $1 million.

It was actually the second ticket the man, who the Lottery identified as Thomas Mistele of Flemington, N.J., bought. Mistele’s first ticket yielded $20 and that’s when the second one was purchased. When the winning ticket was scanned, Alton Bentley, a store manager, said he wondered if the ticket was for  $100,000 or a million, but it was for the higher number. (The ticket was sold by employee Alex McWilliams.)

The Rhode Island State Lottery confirmed the $1 million win on Tuesday afternoon.

“We got the news!” Bentley said to The Block Island Times, after the newspaper had called to confirm a rumor that had started to spread. “It is a lot of fun and we’re excited.”

According to the press release from the Lottery, Mistele purchased the winning ticket and “went numb and started shaking with disbelief. He is staying with a friend on the island, so he immediately told him of his good fortune. He also called his mom and brother who say he is the lucky one in the family. As of right now, he’s not sure how he’ll use the winnings, but said he’d like to have some fun and maybe buy a new car, but also save for retirement.”

The store will receive a banner announcing the million-dollar win, according to Bentley.

Bentley also said Mistele tipped the employees $100.


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