LONACONING, Md. (AP) – The latest grand prize-winning Powerball ticket, valued at $ 731.1 million, has been sold in the troubled coal-mining town of whose former biggest fame is the birthplace of baseball legend Lefty Grove.
The Maryland Lottery announced Thursday that someone had bought it at Coney Market, a small store in Lonaconing, Allegany County. The store will receive a reward of $ 100,000 for selling the ticket to the fifth largest lottery prize in US history.
It’s been more than four months since anyone won a Powerball, allowing the game’s jackpot win to grow exponentially. The bigger Mega Millions jackpot It’ll be ready to grab on Friday night.
It may never be known who will receive the Powerball Prize: Maryland is one of the states that allows winners to remain anonymous.
But staying silent about such huge wins can be difficult if the ticket is purchased by a local. Lonaconing (pronounced LOH-nah-koh-ning) is a city of around 300 families very far off the beaten track, with a poverty rate of over 22 percent, well above the national average.
“We’re really happy for someone,” store owner Richard Ravenscroft told The Associated Press. “I can’t wait to congratulate a person. I only hope whoever wins it uses it wisely and that others benefit from it.”
The lottery ticket is a major benefit for a town with a long history of losses, from the iron furnace that closed in 1855 to the glassworks that closed in the early 1900s, to the coal mining jobs that virtually disappeared after World War II. Periodic floods along George Creek were devastating, and local streams carried acid from deserted mines.
Ravenscroft said there is still some strip mining in the area, although this has ended due to environmental concerns, and the remaining plant, the Pulp & Paper company, recently closed after going through a series of acquisitions. He said another upcoming company plans to hire about 200 people to make something out of wood chips.
Another positive headline surfaced in 2001, when the city finally acquired a library after a local fundraising campaign.
Coney Market, named after what locals call their town, is housed in a century-old building along Maryland Route 36, which is set on the Coal Heritage Road in an effort to attract tourists. It draws its share of regulars, who can eat hamburgers and submarines in a small seating area.
Ravenscroft wants to expand the store’s kitchen and offer real meals, like mashed potatoes and gravy. Perhaps a reward can help with that.
Lunakuning’s previous biggest winner was Robert Moses Grove, better known as Lefty Grove, who has played 17 seasons in the major leagues, nine with the Philadelphia Athletics and eight with the Red Sox. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947, and he died in 1975.
The Powerball jackpot came just one day after no one won the $ 970 million Mega Millions prize, the third largest in US history.
The winning numbers in Wednesday night’s Powerball Draw were: 40-53-60-68-69 and the Powerball of 22.
It was the first time that each of the lottery prizes had exceeded $ 700 million. The biggest prize was the $ 1.58 billion Powerball prize that three people won in 2016.
No one has won any of the major prizes since mid-September, which has allowed the awards to grow steadily for several months. This long run without a winner is rare but it also reflects incredibly small winning odds – 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.
Maryland’s lottery director, Gordon Medinica, told the AP that he was not surprised when people beat the odds and hit the jackpot because thousands of people win smaller prizes after each drawing. The chances of winning something is about 1 in 25.
“The truth is, people win all the time. Obviously, the focus is on winning the jackpot and that’s what motivates people to play the game, but they come back and keep playing because there are so many other ways to win,” Medinica said.
The prizes listed are for winners who choose the annuity option, and are paid out over a period of 30 years. Most of the winners choose the cash prizes, which will be $ 716.3 million for Mega Millions and $ 546.8 million for Powerball on Wednesday. After Powerball is won, the new Grand Prix is valued at $ 15 Million USD.
These awards will also be subject to federal taxation, and most states will be subject as well.
Both Mega Millions and Powerball are played in 45 states plus Washington, D.C. and the US Virgin Islands. Powerball is also offered in Puerto Rico.