A crowd of about 75 people gathered Wednesday evening at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody, all hoping they had the winning ticket. As it turned out, neither Markarian nor Mello were present when Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt drew their winning tickets. Brilliantly, the YMCA staff had a cellphone hooked up to a speaker system, so the crowd could hear the call and help deliver the exciting news. Both calls went to voice mail, and the crowd boisterously left a message.
When Markarian and her sister Laura finally arrived at the YMCA to pick up the prize, "they were both literally in a state of shock," said Gregory Griffin, director of operations at the Torigian Family YMCA. "Her sister was speechless."
It's a bit serendipitous that Markarian is headed back to the Super Bowl to see the Pats face the Giants. She was in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 3, 2008, for Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants handed the Patriots a devastating loss that ruined their perfect 2007 season. A huge Patriots fan, Markarian, like everyone else in New England, is eager for a little payback.
"I hope things are different this time," she said.