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CUMBERLAND â€“ Sometimes it takes awhile for dreams to come true, but for Marc Lonchay his dusky visions paid off just in the nick of time â€“ to the tune of $1 million.
That's how much the unemployed laborer and father of five took home yesterday when Lonchay cashed in his Powerball winnings at the offices of the state lottery â€“ all on numbers he says came to him in his sleep years ago.
â€śI know, it sounds crazy,â€ť says Lonchay. â€śI wrote them down. I kept playing them â€“ faithfully.â€ť
It was a particularly emotional scene at the Cranston headquarters of the state lottery â€“ and not simply because Lonchay and his wife, Jacqueline, really needed the money. They were stunned when they found out they had actually won $400,000 more than they thought they did.
â€śThey started crying,â€ť said Lottery spokeswoman Melissa Juhnowski. â€śWe had to bring out a box of tissues.â€ť
Lonchay, 52, said he bought the winning ticket at the Cumberland Shell station at 4120 Mendon Road. After the drawing, he took the ticket to another store in Woonsocket where the clerk erroneously told him the ticket was worth $600,000.
Lonchay matched five numbers â€“ 5-10-11-12-20 â€“ which was good enough to make him an automatic millionaire because he invested an extra buck for the PowerPlay option, said Juhnowski.
A former Woonsocket resident, Lonchay said he worked for 32 years for a major employer in the city before he was laid off in January. His unemployment benefits are about to run out at the end of the month and he was worried about losing his house near the Highland Industrial Park.
He and his wife have five children, including a 17-year-old still at home and an older daughter in the Army who is coming home for Christmas. The way things were going, the Lonchays weren't sure it was going to be much of a celebration.
All that's changed now. Lonchay says he intends to use part of his winnings to crank up the holiday spirit and pay off the house. He also plans on buying himself a new truck and giving a portion of his winnings to his parents.
â€śIt's kind of a gift to get this windfall at this time because it's definitely needed,â€ť Lonchay said.
As incredible as Lonchay's story of conjuring up the winning number in a dream may sound, Juhnowski says it's not all that uncommon. She's worked at the state lottery for over four years and has heard similar explanations from other jackpot winners â€śfour or five timesâ€ť in the past.