There are plenty of trophy houses on Martha's Vineyard, and now Sandra Grant, a 58-year-old native of the Massachusetts island, just may buy one of them.
On Saturday, Grant used one lucky penny to rub a $20 scratch ticket that revealed a $10 million prize -- a pay dirt that Massachusetts lottery officials believe is the largest ever instant prize awarded in the history of all lotteries.
"My ear kind of hurts from everybody screaming in it," Grant told ABC News, two days after she strolled into the office of the Massachusetts lottery and collected her first of 20 $500,000 checks.
The single mother of a 30-year-old former U.S. Marine, who for the past 15 years or so has driven a tour bus on the island that's a summer home to so many of the rich and famous, said her stomach went into knots Saturday when she bought the Billion Dollar Blockbuster ticket inside Our Market in Oak Bluffs -- which, by the way, will receive a $50,000 reward for selling the winning scratch-off.
Of course, there was the rub-her-eyes moment, and she asked the man who sold the ticket to double check the prize. And then she started shaking hands with other customers in the mart.
But Grant, a former waitress and supermarket clerk who describes herself as a mild-mannered bargain hunter, continued onto the grocery store where she was heading across island -- if you can believe it -- because the store was offering a a slew of bargain deals that day.
"Gee, you know," Grant said, describing her mindset on the trip to the market after verifying the $10 million prize. "I have a little bit more money now." So she went for some luxury items she wouldn't normally buy, including "expensive dog food" for her pair of pooches.
More Big Instant Winners to Come
Dan Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Massachusetts lottery, said Grant is the first of 10 winners who will score the $10 million dollar grand prize in the Billion Dollar Blockbuster game, a $20 scratch ticket rolled out at the end of September. Another 130 players will win $1 million prizes, and one lucky winner will take home $1 million a year for life.
"This is something that the players have been pushing for for a long time," Rosenfeld told ABC News. "They've been wanting to push for a bigger ticket for a long, long time."
The game will generate $154 million in revenue for Massachusetts cities and towns, Rosenfeld said. Scratch tickets make up about 70 percent of the Bay State's lottery business.
"As far as we know, it's the largest instant prize in lottery history," he said, adding that after state and federal taxes, each of Grant's payouts will amount to about $350,000, "which ain't half bad."
Grant, who already has been in contact with a financial planner, said she would not spend the money foolishly. But she does have a trip planned this weekend to the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut this weekend. She said she may splurge by taking $1,000 instead of $500.
"I'm not going to go crazy or anything," Grant said.