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Man donates $100K lottery ticket to St. Anthony Shrine

By Mark Labbe Pilot Staff
Posted: 12/23/2016

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Franciscan Father Thomas Conway holds the check he received from the Massachusetts State Lottery after redeeming a $100,000 winning ticket donated to St. Anthony Shrine. Pilot photo/courtesy Massachusetts State Lottery

BOSTON -- Christmas came early for St. Anthony Shrine, a shrine run by the Franciscans in Boston's Downtown Crossing, after a Massachusetts lottery winner donated his $100,000 winning ticket to the shrine, Dec. 19.

The donor, who wished to remain anonymous, had contacted the shrine several days before and expressed his wish to give the ticket to the shrine, before actually dropping it off on Monday, Dec. 19, said the shrine's executive director Father Thomas Conway.

"What I liked about it was, it wasn't knee-jerk," he told The Pilot Dec. 20, explaining that the donor had actually sat down and considered his options.

The donor "didn't want any credit," asked for nothing in return, and didn't request for the funds to be restricted in any way, he said.

After receiving the ticket, Father Conway and Maryanne Rooney-Hegan, the shrine's director of development, went to the Massachusetts State Lottery's Braintree headquarters to cash it in.

"It was a little odd, to tell you the truth, to be standing in the winner's line there in the state lottery's offices and be wearing a Franciscan habit," Father Conway said, laughing.

He explained that the money will be used to pay for the shrine's Christmastime expenses, such as purchasing presents for needy children, food donations to families, and a special Dec. 27 dinner the shrine hosts for veterans.

"There are a lot of expenses ... related to Christmas, and this will take care of them," said Father Conway.