LONACONING, Md. (AP) – A $ 731.1 million winning Powerball jackpot ticket has sold in a troubled coal mining town whose biggest previous claim to fame was the hometown of baseball legend Lefty Grove, the Maryland lottery announced on Thursday.
Coney Market, a store in Lonaconing, Alegani County, will receive a $ 100,000 bonus from the Maryland Lottery for ticket sales to the fifth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
It’s been more than four months since someone won Powerball, allowing the game’s jackpot to grow so big. An even bigger jackpot than Mega Millions will be grabbed on Friday night.
Who will take the prize may never be known: Maryland is one of the countries that allows the winners to remain anonymous. But the silence about such a huge one could unexpectedly prove difficult if the ticket is bought by a local. Lonaconing is a city with about 300 families, far from the beaten path, with a poverty rate of over 22 percent, well above the national average.
Connie Market, named after what locals call their city, is housed in a detached building for more than a century, at 36 Maryland Road. This is a place where people can eat burgers and sandwiches with submarines in a small seating area that attracts its share of the regulars.
A former coal mining town, Lonaconing doesn’t have much money. Ravenscroft said there was still some stripping in the area, although it was being liquidated due to environmental concerns, and the rest of the factory, a pulp and paper company, was shut down recently after going through a series of buyouts. Another company is coming, which plans to hire about 200 people to make something out of wood chips, he said.
“I can’t wait to greet the man. I just hope that the one who won it uses it wisely and other people take advantage of it, “he said.
Ravenscroft, for its part, wants to expand the store’s kitchen and serve real dishes such as mashed potatoes and sauce. Maybe the bonus can help with that.
Lonaconing’s previous biggest winner was Robert Moses Grove, known as Lefty Grove, who had 17 seasons in the major leagues, nine with Athletic Philadelphia and eight with the Red Sox. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947 and died in 1975.
The Powerball jackpot came just a day after no one won the $ 970 million Mega Millions, the third largest prize in US history.
The winning numbers for the Powerball draw on Wednesday night were: 40-53-60-68-69 and Powerball from 22.
For the first time, the two lottery jackpots reached $ 700 million. The biggest prize was the $ 1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.
No one had won any of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to rise steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare, but it also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning – 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.
The listed prizes are for winners who choose an annuity option paid over 30 years. Most winners choose cash prizes, which will be $ 716.3 million for Mega Millions and $ 546.8 million for Powerball on Wednesday. After winning the Powerball, the new jackpot has a cash value of $ 15 million.
These awards would also be subject to federal taxes, and most states would also take a discount.
Mega Millions and Powerball are played in 45 states, as well as in Washington, DC, USA and the Virgin Islands. Powerball is also available in Puerto Rico.