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Chicopee Store's Powerball Reward Will Go To Charity; Neighbors Hopeful, Cautious

CHICOPEE (CBS) -- The owner of the Chicopee convenience store that sold the winning Powerball ticket says his store's reward money is going to charity.

Bob Bolduc, owner of the Pride chain of convenience stores says his Chicopee store may get a $50,000 bonus from the Massachusetts Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

He says that it's his company's policy to support local charities.

"We support all our local charities already. So, we will just be giving it up, dividing it up between them," Bolduc said.

Bolduc was asked for details, but said again that he wants to help with local needs.

"We do some homeless programs. We do a lot with foster kids. We do a lot with education; our primary focus is on education and children," Bolduc said.

Bob Bolduc, Pride store owner. (WBZ-TV)

He says the Lottery has told him the award is capped at $50,000, so that's the maximum amount his store can receive.

Bolduc says his company built the Chicopee store 30 years ago and that Pride has 30 locations in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.

He says his store sold a $10 million ticket last year and has sold two, $4 million winners in the last year. He says they've also sold four, $1 million winners in the last year.

Bob Bolduc Tells His Store's Plans For The Award Money.

Bolduc says the winning ticket was sold at his Chicopee store at about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon and says the winner is a "middle-aged woman."

That woman is Mavis Wanczyk, who says she wants to retire early.

"I just want to sit back and relax," Wanczyk said. "I had a pipe dream, and my pipe dream has finally come true, I wanted to retire and it came early."

Wanczyk's neighbor Mike Pinette says Wanczyk is a nice neighbor.

"She's a nice lady and maybe she'll remember me. Good for her," Pinette said.

Pinette says Wanczyk fits the profile of someone who should be a lottery winner.

"She's a middle aged person, living in an apartment, not somebody who owns a couple of houses already," Pinette also said.

Valerie Williams was buying her first scratch tickets.

"So I decided to take the 13 dollars and get 13 tickets, so I'm gonna see. I'll get my gas later," Williams said. Her tank was on empty.

Some of the customers like Gary Rzeszutek, were worried about the impact of the sudden riches.

"Yeah, just be careful with it you know. Don't let the money overpower your life. Always be in control of your life," Rzeszutek said.

Ciera Reynolds pointed to the many needs of the people in Western Massachusetts.

"I think western Massachusetts has a lot of need, so I hope somebody who really did need it got it," Reynolds said.

When he was asked if was going to give a bonus to the clerk who sold the winning ticket, he said he didn't want to play favorites.

"Why would we single out her over anybody else. Was there somebody working with her. I mean, where do you stop," he said.

He said his employees support the policy of giving the money to charity.

"We're going to give all the money to charity. That's our pattern. We really believe in supporting our local charities," he said. "Our employees have full benefits. We're a good employer, and they're happy we're giving the money to charity."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope reports

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