HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Buying gas, a cup of coffee and Lottery tickets at his favorite retailers is a nice routine that a Calvert County Lottery player has followed for decades. An admitted jackpot chaser, he favors the Powerball, Mega Millions and Multi-Match games, and until recently his biggest prize had been $1,500. But that all changed in October.
The Powerball jackpot was at $401 million and rolling on Oct. 10, on its way to a new record about a month later, when he visited Kenilworth Sunoco located at 4836 Kenilworth Avenue in Hyattsville.
The Lottery retailer is one of his favorite spots to buy his tickets. Among the tickets he bought on Oct. 10 was a $2 quick-pick Powerball ticket.
Several days later, and the anonymous winner was buying more tickets, gas and coffee at a Lottery retailer and decided to check his Oct. 10 tickets. When the ticket checker showed a message reporting the Powerball ticket was a winner, all he saw was a 5 and lots of zeroes.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my God, is this $5,000 or $50,000?’” the winner recalled. He quietly put the ticket in his pocket and left the store, trying not to attract attention. Sitting in his vehicle, he checked the ticket again using the Maryland Lottery app on his phone and confirmed the $50,000 prize. Shocked and amazed, he headed to work but couldn’t concentrate. “All I could think about is this ticket,” he said. Eventually, he phoned his wife.
“I could tell something was wrong,” she said. “He was so hesitant on the phone.” She asked if he was OK, if anything had happened and he asked if she was sitting down. When she replied no, that she was walking the dog, he shared his great news about the $50,000 winning ticket.
As soon as he got home from work, he put the lucky ticket in a safe place until he could claim his prize. He plans to use the funds to help a family member with higher education expenses.
No one has won the Powerball jackpot since it was last hit on Nov. 7 for a record $2.04 billion on a ticket sold in California. The estimated annuity jackpot for the Saturday, Jan. 7 drawing is $325 million with an estimated cash option of $165.2 million.