SWANTON, Ohio - The lottery ticket was stashed among the documents, bills, receipts, medical records and other papers atop the bedroom dresser that served as her husband's desk during the last months of his life.
When lung cancer claimed Mike Bernath in October, 2006, Mary Ann Bernath gave the ticket little heed. She had a husband to bury. Children and grandchildren to console. And, she needed time to grieve.
Some weeks later, while sorting through Mike's stuff, Mary Ann stumbled upon the ticket. She briefly considered where to keep it safe, as Mike had told her to do, and finally settled on what in her mind was the most logical place - the Bible she kept on the nightstand next to her bed.
There it remained for 2 1/2 years.