Maryann Daino checked her 5 Card Cash lottery ticket recently at the Big Y in New Milford and liked what she saw.

The resident of Gaylordsville a district of New Milford, was startled to see "Congratulations!" on the screen.

"I was shaking," Daino said, "and asked the gal behind the counter to check the ticket scan. Sure enough, I'd won $255,555."

Daino and her life partner, Dennis Klaus, had lost everything in New York during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and been among the families that moved that year from their destroyed homes to a temporary refugee village at Faith Church in December.

The couple is now renting a lot with a trailer in Gaylordsville.

Their lottery winnings will be used to make a down payment on a home of their own, Daino said.

"I went out to the car that day and showed the ticket to Dennis," she said. "He said, `What's this?' And I answered `Our house.' "

After the trauma of living through Hurricane Sandy, the couple was cautious moving forward on their lottery win.

They said they put the ticket in a safe deposit box and posted a flyer at the Gaylordsville Market bulletin board saying they were looking for a house near the river. A fixer upper would be fine.

Ultimately, they put a bid in on a house with a barn and land on the Housatonic River.

The couple is, Klaus said, "overwhelmed."

"We were waiting to decide how to move forward. After everything we'd lost, we were almost scared," Klaus said. "We had to consider what payments on loans would be."

"But we put the bid down," he added. "We're going to work for our own home."

Klaus is a carpenter and handyman. Daino is a seamstress and plans to have a sewing studio in the barn, if their purchase bid is accepted.

"This is the end of one story and the beginning of a new book in our lives," Klaus said.

"The house needs a lot of work," Daino added. "But we have faith and this suits our needs."; 203-731-3352