NEW YORK (AP) _ He's a mechanic at Al's Gas station in Brooklyn and she works at a bowling alley. They've been married 25 years and always lived from week to week, never able to afford a home of their own or a honeymoon.

But that's all changing for Lou and Mary Anne Profeta, who had the only winning ticket in Wednesday night's Lotto jackpot of $26.9 million.

''Lou is a dreamer. We always thought we would be rich someday,'' said Mrs. Profeta, 46, at a news conference Friday. The numbers, chosen by Mrs. Profeta, include their wedding date, her husband's birthday and some random figures.

Profeta, 47, said Friday was the first day he had missed work in 30 years.

The couple, who have a 22-year-old daughter, plan to buy a home for Mrs. Profeta's parents and one for themselves on Long Island. They also plan to quit work eventually.

And Profeta will buy his wife a lynx coat.

''Whenever I went out with friends, I always joked with them and asked, 'Do you think I should wear my lynx coat tonight?''' Mrs. Profeta says.

The jackpot was the second-largest for a single winner in state history, after the $30.2 million jackpot a Staten Island man won in 1986.

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - From those same folks who gave you blackened redfish and alligator stew, now comes Cajun caviar.

Barely three years on the market, it is made from the eggs of a fish known as the choupique, or cypress trout, and has caused a culinary sensation in south Louisiana.

Chef John Folse of Lafitte's Landing, who last year took his culinary skills to Moscow while then-President Reagan was attending the summit, says, ''I think it's better than their Beluga caviar.''

It's not as salty as the Russian caviar, he said, ''and it fits right into the Louisiana indigenous style of cooking.''

He admits he was skeptical at first.

''I had some in the cooler for about a month before some people got to talking about it one night in the bar at White Oak Plantation,'' he said. ''I got it out and I was stunned at the quality of it.

''Look at this kind of gold coming out of Louisiana 3/8''

Folse makes a crawfish caviar crepe, crawfish in a sour cream sauce wrapped in a crepe with a little caviar on top, and says it's one of the biggest sellers at his restaurant.

John Burke, a student at Louisiana State University who is the sole distributor for Louisiana caviar, said it is produced by a Cajun family whose name he will not make public.

He said their recipe is based on an early Russian one handed down for generations. Burke said he knew about the family when he was growing up in Cajun country, and that he made a deal with them to market the product.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Nobody knows where it's been for the past three-quarters of a century, but a postcard apparently mailed from Panama in 1911 has finally arrived at its destination.

The card, addressed to ''Rev. Mother Superior, Ursuline Convent, New Orleans, La.,'' bears a one-centesimo stamp of the Republic of Panama.

It has two postmarks: one scarcely legible but the other clearly reading, ''New Orleans, La. Aug. 15, 1911.'' The message is dated ''Colon 8-7-1911,'' so the card may have been mailed from Colon, at the eastern end of the Panama Canal - still under construction back then.

On the other side is a photograph of work on the canal's Culebra Cut.

''It arrived at Carrollton in the normal mail stream, along with other first-class mail,'' Gail Borne, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Postal Service's Carrolton Station, said Friday. ''Our policy is that as long as we can deliver a piece of mail, no matter how old it is, we will.''

She said workers had noticed the 1911 postmark, but didn't know where the card was before it got to the station. It was delivered Thursday.

The message from Rosario and Mariana Delgado sends their parents' greetings and says the children would ''soon have the pleasure to be at the dear convent again.''

Marie Srour, a secretary at the school, said officials have not located any records from 1911 that might show who the Delgados were.

The school, which was founded shortly after Ursuline nuns arrived in New Orleans in 1727, had many Central American pupils in the early part of the 20th century.

Officials plan to add the mysterious postcard to their archives or to a small museum at the school. And they want to thank the Postal Service for two things: for delivering the card and for not charging postage due.