GIRARD, Ohio -- A Salem Township man has a good reason to be thankful. He received a $2 million check from the Ohio Lottery Commission after winning a drawing.
John Cramer, husband and father of four, didn't know he was a winner until he was surprised at a tavern where he expected to have lunch with his daughter, Ciera, who was in town for the holidays.
"I was shocked, utterly shocked. I didn't know what was going on," said Cramer.
Cramer originally purchased a scratch-off lottery ticket and won $5,500. That same ticket was later entered into the Ohio Lottery's Top Prize Drawing.
In a letter sent to Cramer, he was told the drawing would be held Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. Little did he know, the drawing was already held and he won the top prize -- $2 million.
The Ohio Lottery Commission contacted Cramer's daughter and other family members to let them know he'd won. But the Commission took things a step further. With help from Ciera, they set up a surprise reveal at Kuzman's Tavern.
Ciera told her father that she wanted to meet with him for lunch while she was home. She told him she wanted to go to Kuzman's because she had a buy one get one free coupon... ll a part of the big plan.
"To not tell my dad was killing me. Because, you know, you want to the person you love that you won this," Ciera said, in an interview after the reveal.
The big win is great timing for John, as he'd been dipping into his pension to help fund his daughter's college education. And on Tuesday, John welcomed twin grandchildren into the world and wanted to take care of them also.
John's family described him as a hard-working, family man.
"To me, my dad's the best guy on this earth, honestly. He's the one that taught me everything, brought me up, and taught me how to act. Everything, " said his only son John, Jr.
He added, "I think this is good for him. He deserves it for everything he does for us."
When asked what he was thankful for besides his winnings, John responded, "my family, my job... I'm working. In a bad economy, I'm working."
By the way, he doesn't plan on quitting his job now that he's won. Cramer thought it was odd that his boss asked him whether or not he enjoyed his job.
John's wife Rose wasn't always happy about him buying lotto tickets. But after today, she admitted he was right.
"I always felt it was a waste of time and money. I really did," said Rose Cramer.
"I discouraged it heavily, and this will only reinforce that he was right," she added with a smile.
John says he's not going to Disneyland, but he does plan on taking a trip to Florida. He added that he plans to take the annuity payout.
John purchased his winning ticket at Salem Sparkle Market.