Peter Alley of Bar Harbor told his daughters to order whatever they wanted for lunch, after winning $500,000 from the Maine State Lottery in June. Alley also plans to buy a boat and save for retirement, but will keep his job as maintenance director at Conners Emerson School. “I love this job,” he said. PHOTO COURTESY OF LISA SKIFF

School facilities head wins lottery

BAR HARBOR — Peter Alley is feeling fine, but “a little overwhelmed” after winning $500,000 in the Maine State Lottery last month.

The Bar Harbor resident received a check for $355,000 after taxes were withheld, according to Maine State Lottery spokeswoman Angie Helton.

The winning ticket, from the $20 instant scratch game “$500,000 Payout” was purchased at a convenience store in Portland.

According to the Maine State Lottery website, odds of winning the maximum award of $500,000 are 137,143 to 1.

Alley had been making regular trips to Portland for medical treatment following a shoulder surgery, he told the Islander. The convenience store was next door to the doctor’s office, said Alley, and he got to know the clerks there. Each time he got himself a scratch ticket, he bought a $2 ticket for the clerk on duty as well.

On the day he bought the winning scratch ticket, Alley was with his daughter. “Do you think that’s a real ticket?” he remembers asking her skeptically after scratching off the winning numbers.

Alley’s wife, Lisa Skiff, and other daughter joined them later. Alley told Skiff he had won something, but did not disclose the amount.

Stopping at a restaurant on their way home, Alley told his daughters to order anything they wanted, prompting Skiff to ask, “How much did you actually win?”

“I’m going to buy a little secondhand boat,” Alley said, when asked how he plans to spend the money. Beyond that, he will use it to save for retirement. “This certainly helps,” he said; though he does not intend to retire early. “I love this job,” he said of his position as Director of Maintenance for Conners Emerson School.

Having worked at the school for 30 years, Alley also serves as Asbestos Coordinator for all the schools in the district.

Alley is no stranger to winning, having also won a $100,000 prize from the Maine State Lottery in Dec. 2017, netting $70,000 after taxes.

Alley was also awarded a $4,000 grant and a medal in 2006 by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. According to a press release issued in 2006, Alley was named a hero by the commission for saving a man from a burning truck by dragging him out of the missing truck window, following a pre-dawn accident on Jan. 13 of that year.

The truck had slid on ice, struck a tree, and caught fire, according to the press release. Moments after Alley had dragged the unconscious driver to safety, “an explosive burst of flame engulfed the vehicle.”

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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