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Retired Garment Worker Wins $17 Million

March 7, 1988

BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) _ A 73-year-old retired garment worker has won Massachusetts’ largest jackpot ever awarded to one person, $17,044,040, a lottery spokesman announced.

A first installment of $639,151 after tax withholding is ready to be picked up today by Helen Gueli of Methuen, who bought the winning ticket at a gas station, said spokesman David Ellis.

Mrs. Gueli is a widow with three sons, a daughter and 10 grandchildren, Ellis said.

″When she told me about her winnings, she looked a little pale,″ family friend Raymond May said Saturday.

″She’s in hiding right now,″ May said. ″She took off after finding out she’d won the Mass Millions game. She just left the cat with me.″

The game had gone 12 weeks without a winner before Friday night.

″It’s the fourth largest jackpot, but it’s the single largest prize we’ve ever awarded to one person,″ Ellis said.

The previous record jackpot won by one person in Massachusetts was a $15.6 million prize on July 14, 1984. The largest jackpot was a $21.7 million prize with multiple winners on Jan. 8, 1986.

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