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Who Won the $731 Million Powerball?

The winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in a former mining town in Maryland. “We don’t know for who,” the shopkeeper said, “but we are happy for somebody.”

  • Published Jan. 21, 2021 Updated Jan. 23, 2021

Someone in Maryland is suddenly $731 million richer.

A jackpot-winning Powerball ticket was sold at a convenience store in Lonaconing, Md., a down-on-its-luck former mining town in the virus-battered northwestern corner of the state. The ticket matched all six numbers during Wednesday evening’s Powerball drawing.

The $731.1 million jackpot is the fourth largest in Powerball’s 28-year history and the sixth largest lottery jackpot ever in the United States, Powerball announced on Thursday. The drawing was the highest the Powerball jackpot has been since March 2019, when it rose to $768 million.

Powerball did not immediately name the winner. Lottery winners in Maryland can choose to remain anonymous, and they have at least 182 days to claim the prize.

The winning ticket was sold at Coney Market, a convenience store that sells subs and pizza in Lonaconing, a small town — population 1,200 — in Allegany County, which has the most Covid-19 cases per capita in the state. About a quarter of the population of Lonaconing lives below the poverty line, according to census data.

“We were surprised and very happy,” Richard Ravenscroft, the store’s owner, said in an interview on Thursday. “We don’t know for who, but we are happy for somebody.”

The store will receive a $100,000 bonus from the Maryland Lottery for selling the winning ticket. The winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing were 40, 53, 60, 68, 69 and a Powerball of 22.

According to Powerball, the winner can choose to have an estimated pretax annuity of $731.1 million paid in 30 payments over 29 years, or a lump sum of $546.8 million, also before taxes. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million.

Another national lottery closed in on a record jackpot this week: Before its drawing on Friday, Mega Millions estimates that its jackpot will reach $970 million, which would be the second-largest prize in the game’s history.

A lingering mythology holds that the winners of big jackpots become cursed after their strokes of good fortune. There are numerous accounts of winners who, unequipped to manage their newfound wealth, go on to struggle with substance abuse, ruined relationships and insolvency.

One influential study in 1978 found that lottery winners were not any happier than their neighbors or more optimistic about the future. But other studies have countered the notion of the so-called lottery curse, suggesting that the winners’ general psychological well-being bounces back over time after cashing in the prize.

Mr. Ravenscroft, who has owned Coney Market for six years, said he wished the winner luck. “I really think that they have quite an opportunity, and I hope they use good judgment,” he said.

The Powerball jackpot was last hit in New York in the Sept. 16 drawing. Since then, there had been 35 games in a row without a jackpot winner until Wednesday.

The next drawing will be on Saturday, when the Powerball jackpot resets to $20 million.

The winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in a former mining town in Maryland. “We don’t know for who,” the shopkeeper said, “but we are happy for somebody.”

$1 Billion Lottery Prize Ticket Was Sold in Michigan

An unidentified person bought the Mega Millions ticket at a grocery store in Novi, Mich. It was the third-biggest jackpot in U.S. history.

  • Jan. 23, 2021

The winning ticket for a $1 billion jackpot, the third-biggest lottery prize in U.S. history, was sold at a Michigan grocery store, according to state lottery officials.

The winning numbers, which were drawn on Friday night, were picked by a customer at a Kroger grocery store in Novi, a city of about 60,000 people that is 30 miles northwest of Detroit.

State lottery officials said the identity of the winner will not be known until the person contacts them. Michigan law requires that winners of games played across states, such as Mega Millions and Powerball, be publicly identified, said Jake Harris, a spokesman for the state lottery.

The winner can choose to collect the prize through an initial payment and then annual payments for 29 years, or receive a one-time cash payment of about $739 million. In that case, the winner would get about $530 million, after taxes, state lottery officials said.

If the winner chose an annual payout, the initial payment would be about $11.3 million after taxes, with payments increasing 5 percent every year. The final payment would be about $46.7 million after taxes, Mr. Harris said.

The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 302,575,350, according to Mega Millions. The winning numbers in the Mega Millions lottery were 4, 26, 42, 50 and 60, with a Mega Ball number of 24.

The numbers were picked two days after the numbers were selected for a winning ticket in a $731 million Powerball jackpot, which was sold in Lonaconing, Md., a down-on-its-luck former mining town in the virus-battered northwestern corner of the state. The winning ticket was sold at Coney Market, a convenience store that sells subs and pizza in Lonaconing, a town of about 1,200 in Allegany County, which has the most Covid-19 cases per capita in the state. About a quarter of the population of Lonaconing lives below the poverty line, according to census data.

A spokeswoman for Kroger congratulated the winner in Michigan and the mayor of Novi, Bob Gatt, said the news came a month after the city was named “the second-most innovative city in the country” by Entrepreneur magazine.

He described Novi as a rapidly growing city that had once been a rural outpost of Detroit but was now a hub of car manufacturing that was attracting tech companies like Google.

Mr. Gatt said he was “ecstatic” for the winner. “I’d be better if I had the winning ticket,” he said.

The jackpot was the second-largest prize in the history of Mega Millions.

In 2018, a person who chose to remain anonymous won $1.537 billion in South Carolina. That prize remains the world’s largest lottery prize ever awarded on a single ticket, according to Mega Millions.

The biggest lottery prize ever awarded in the United States was a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot in 2016, according to The Associated Press. It was divided among three ticket winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

A lingering mythology holds that the winners of big jackpots become cursed after their strokes of good fortune. There are numerous accounts of winners who, unequipped to manage their newfound wealth, go on to struggle with drugs or alcohol, ruined relationships and insolvency.

While one influential study in 1978 found that lottery winners were not any happier than their neighbors or more optimistic about the future, other studies have countered the notion of the so-called lottery curse.

The studies suggest that the winners’ general psychological well-being bounces back over time.

In 2018, a New Hampshire woman filed a lawsuit to keep her name from being released to the public after she won $560 million in the Powerball lottery.

Lawyers for the woman, who called herself Jane Doe in the lawsuit, said she wished to use a portion of her winnings for charity “far from the glare and misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery ‘winners.’”

An unidentified person bought the Mega Millions ticket at a grocery store in Novi, Mich. It was the third-biggest jackpot in U.S. history. ]]>