BOLTON LANDING - Wayne LaMothe, assistant director of Warren County Planning, has been through some hardship in recent years.
In 2007, his wife Lisa was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Myopathy, a genetic, progressive condition that currently has no cure and can be terminal. Several years since then, she's been undergoing treatment to relieve the various debilitating symptoms, and the LaMothes have had to bankroll considerable expenses that health insurance companies wouldn't cover.
Then in 2009, county supervisors sought to eliminate his position until several county leaders pointed out to their peers that LaMothe had successfully brought many millions of dollars of grant money into the county over his 27 year tenure, to the benefit of taxpayers - besides being a productive, faithful employee.
But last week, he got a little lift from the stress he's faced.
LaMothe dropped into Stewart's Shop convenience store in Lake George to buy gasoline, and bought a Take Five ticket via quick-pick method, as he does occasionally.
Then in the May 28 drawing, his numbers won the jackpot of $46,251.
On his home computer, LaMothe saw the results posted on the New York Lottery website, he said Tuesday.
"I checked my numbers two to three times, they matched, and I thought, 'something has to be wrong here,'" he said.
He then asked his wife to confirm the number matchup, and they savored the good news of the financial boost.
While others might build a new addition to their home, take a European vacation or buy a new car, LaMothe has more practical and meaningful plans.
He said Tuesday that he'll likely be spending the winnings on medical expenses, including genetic testing for Lisa that health insurance doesn't cover.
The LaMothes plan on obtaining genetic sequencing from Baylor University that will help determine whether Lisa's siblings or daughters have genetic vulnerability to Mitochondrial Myopathy.
He said the jackpot means he and Lisa now have the option of letting his extended family be more informed about their future, health-wise.
The couple feels fortunate to have this temporary boost to their finances, although they have considerable challenges ahead, Wayne LaMothe said.
"We're happy about winning, but it was low key, and now we move on," Wayne LaMothe said. "But now I'm thinking, maybe I should buy a ticket a little more often!"