OCEAN PARK - When Donna Jean Boone stepped into the Ocean Park Eagles Lodge for a cup of coffee on her way out of town Sunday it was just a normal day. Some of the folks there were talking about how it had been announced that Saturday night's Lotto winner had come from a ticket purchased at Okie's Sentry Market and Boone pulled out her ticket.
The first few numbers didn't match and she didn't think much of it - that is until she realized she was holding the ticket she had bought for Wednesday's drawing.
Upon realizing her mistake and comparing the first few numbers of her ticket for Saturday's drawing, she found they were a match. One of the Eagles members walked over to Okie's to confirm the complete number.
"When she was walking back, she knew I had it," said Boone Tuesday morning. "We just screamed and cried. We were in a state of shock. I still am."
Boone won $7.2 million from Washington's Lottery with six numbers picked out by the Lotto ticket dispensing computer. Boone said she doesn't usually play Lotto, and when she does she only spends $1, but said she spent $5 on her tickets that last weekend - if she had spent only her usual dollar, she would not have won.
Though her official address is in Ridgefield, Boone, age 63, is very much connected to the Peninsula. She and her husband Conrad bought land in Ocean Park about a decade ago and put a double-wide on it for a vacation home. She said her husband and she would visit regularly, as he loved fishing. However, Conrad passed on three years ago and Boone has been troubled with how she could afford to keep her home in Ridgefield, as well as the place in Ocean Park that holds so many fond memories for her.
"But I don't have to worry about that anymore," she said with a laugh. "I love Ocean Park, and I'll probably retire there."
Boone said she would be back on the Peninsula over the weekend and will be visiting Okie's at some point Saturday afternoon for a presentation of the retail seller's bonus check, worth $72,000 - one of the largest such pay outs in state history. She said that she would also be presenting Cynthia Porter, the clerk who sold the tickets to her, with a gift.
"We've been really busy since people heard about the big lottery winner," Okie's Manager Brad Woodham, said. "The store is a buzz as that's about all anyone is talking about."
Woodham and other store employees and customers were interviewed Monday afternoon by KING 5 News' Paul Aker as cameraman Tom Tedford recorded their comments for the evening news.
And in case you were wondering what Boone is planning to do with her prize, she hasn't decided yet. She said that she was to speak with her attorney and financial planner later on Tuesday to choose between the percentage pay-out or the annuity options.
Boone said that she's been dating a man from Chinook for some time now, but said that hasn't stopped potential suitors from approaching her since the announcement.
"I've already had three that have approached me," she said, laughing. "Oh well, that's the way it goes. They had their chance, they blew it."
According to a story in the Vancouver Columbian, Boone doesn't plan to quit her job as an office manager for a general contractor in Kalama, for whom she's worked for 16 years.