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High School Custodian Cleans Up with $25,000 Top Prize

Patty Brown of West Haven wins CT Lottery “Cashword 26” top prize

A long-time custodian at West Haven High School, Patty Brown of West Haven is one of the fortunate few who truly enjoys what she does every day—even after 38 years on the job. “It’s the kids. I just love the kids. I look forward going to work every day, just to see them,” she said.

Brown finds her enjoyment after work playing CT Lottery scratch games. One of her favorites is “Cashword,” which is similar in style to a crossword puzzle. Those who enjoy the extended style of play build prizes upon how many words are made as the play is completed. “When I play [Cashword], it relaxes me,” said Brown. “For $3, I can play for quite a while, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Instead of relaxation, Brown encountered some excitement last week while playing the game’s newest edition, Cashword 26. “I was counting each word as I went along… and writing them down on a piece of paper, and checking all the letters. I counted, one by one, until I realized I got 10 words. Ten words is $25,000! I couldn’t believe it,” Brown said with beaming smile and a laugh. “I called and told my son that I won, and then I put the ticket in a safe. Two hours later, I took the ticket out and checked it. Later on, when I couldn’t sleep, I took it back out of the safe, and did it all over again. I even did the same thing the next morning.”

Last week, the 73-year-old grandmother arrived at CT Lottery Headquarters in Rocky Hill to claim her $25,000 top prize. Brown was accompanied by her son, who had nothing but kind words to say about his mother’s good nature and generosity towards others. “Now, don’t make me out to be a saint,” Brown joked.

When asked what she planned to do with her prize, it appeared that Brown surprised even herself with her response. “You know what? I think I can finally buy a new recliner, mine is terrible. I’ll also share some of the prize with my family.”

For selling the top prize winning ticket, Grillo’s Market, located at 137 Campbell Avenue in West Haven, will receive a $250 bonus from the CT Lottery.

The odds of winning a Cashword 26 prize are 1 in 3.74. Of the 21 top prizes worth $25,000, 15 remain to be claimed.

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