John Ottaviani of Haverhill won $1 million in a Mass Lottery instant prize game

Former Haverhill High track coach John Ottaviani of Haverhill won $1 million in a Mass Lottery instant prize game.

HAVERHILL — John Ottaviani, better known around town as “Coach O” for his years leading Haverhill High School’s track team, is rolling in the money.

According to Mass. Lottery officials, Ottaviani recently won a $1 million prize in the lottery’s $2,000,000 50X Cashword instant ticket game.

Ottaviani opted to receive his prize in the form of a one-time payment of $650,000 (before taxes), lottery officials said.

He purchased his ticket at the Quik Mart located at 764 Main St. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for its sale of this ticket. According to a store employee, it was the ninth $1 million scratch sold at the store in recent years.

Ottaviani starred for the Hillie football teams, helping the 1955 squad to the EMass. Class A title.

He played football at UMass Amherst, lettering twice, before embarking on his legendary coaching career.

He took over a program in shambles (four straight winless seasons for the boys in winter track) and built the track program into one of the state’s best with a 221-40-4 record.

Ottaviani was inducted into the Mass. Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985. He was an assistant football coach for 19 years and the city’s athletic director from 1982-96.

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