It was a special day at the Vermont Lottery headquarters, not because there was a jackpot winner, but another treasure-- the retirement of a longtime employee.
A card designed to look like a giant check read, "Carole Lacasse, 52 years, thank you for over 108,000 hours served."
It was hugs and gifts for Lacasse. The longtime state employee has spent the last three decades working for the lottery. When she first started sales were around $4 million, today it's over $100 million.
"Each and every one of you have made this wonderful for me," Lacasse told co-workers.
Twenty-one people work for the lottery. Just about all the staff members and former employees came to wish 71-year-old Lacasse luck.
"She's the perfect mother. She watches out for everybody, kind of boost your morale when you need it, tells you funny stories or gives you the lay of the land when you need it," said Greg Smith, the executive director of the Vermont Lottery.
Her job was secretary to the Tri-State Lottery Board. And for a woman who knows just about everything that goes on in the office, the party was a surprise.
She and her husband, Andy, are longtime motorcycle enthusiasts. They traveled all over Canada and the United States. But their first trip will be to Florida without the bikes.
"We're family. A lot of us have been here 27, 28, 29 years. We've seen our kids grow up; we don't hire baby-sitters anymore, you know," Lacasse said.
She plans to volunteer on various boards in the area. She's also active in her church. And as the poster at her party said, It's been a great ride.