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September 05. 2013 9:22AM

Pembroke woman has her cat Bonkie to thank for $1 million Powerball win

CONCORD – A Pembroke woman claimed her $1 million Powerball prize Wednesday afternoon for matching five numbers in the Aug. 28 drawing.

Wendy Leighton purchased her winning ticket at the Shaw's supermarket at 20 D'Amante Drive in Concord.

"I have played Powerball since the game first came out, and with the power of positive thinking I always knew I was going to win a big prize!" said Leighton, who works for Kelly Services.

Her husband of 11 years, Frederick Leighton, who works for the state DOT, accompanied her to lottery headquarters to collect her winnings.

Leighton bought her usual four tickets from a lottery vending machine at the supermarket.

"I have my cat Bonkie who lived to the age of 21 to thank for this $1 million prize since the numbers I play have significance to his life - including his birthday, and the day I took him home," added Leighton, who typically plays three sets of numbers that she selects and then one easy pick combination. She matched the first five numbers of 6-7-9-19-32 to win the $1 million prize.

When she heard on the radio that a $1 million winning Powerball ticket was sold at the Concord Shaw's, she just knew it was her turn.

"Despite feeling confident, I was hesitant to look at the numbers on my ticket because you don't lose until you see the winning numbers!" said Leighton. "I checked the lottery's website and saw the first five numbers matched mine and the first thing I did was call Fred at work and tell him the good news! We are such fans of this game, we used to travel to Maine to purchase tickets when the game was called Lotto America, and that's going back awhile."

Leighton plans to buy a new car with the prize winnings, and she and Fred have plans to update their house which was built in the 1980s.

"We would also love to visit Kansas City, Mo., to see the Red Sox play the Royals and go to Disney World and Epcot," said Leighton, who plans to save the rest for retirement. "We also plan to visit our family in Yarmouth, Maine, this coming weekend, take them to dinner, tell them the good news and apologize for canceling our plans with them last weekend because we were afraid we would spill the beans before we made it official."


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