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Winner Almost Throws Out $250K Mega Millions Ticket

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

West Virginia resident lucky in Western Maryland

After seeing a message directing him to Lottery Headquarters while checking his Mega Millions ticket, the unknowing winner almost threw the ticket away. “I was about to toss it in the trash, but then thought that maybe the message meant something other than it was a non-winner.” After seeing the banner in the store reading, “$250,000 winner sold here!” the man decided to go home to double check his numbers. “I had everyone in my family check the numbers to be sure I was seeing it right,” the winner exclaimed. His eyes were not deceiving him; he had matched all of his numbers except the Mega Ball, making him a $250,000 second-tier Mega Millions winner.

During his regular morning commute to Maryland from West Virginia on June 30th, the 40-year-old man decided to stop and purchase a few Mega Millions and Powerball, never expecting to strike it rich. “I cashed in a $3 winning Powerball ticket, and decided to use the money to purchase more tickets.  I first told the retailer to give me one Mega Millions ticket, and two Powerball tickets.” The winner continued, “But then, I saw that the jackpot for Mega Millions was larger and decided to purchase two Mega Millions and only one Powerball.  Lucky I did, because that second ticket made me $250,000 richer!”

When asked if he has any immediate plans for the money, the man excitedly said he plans to buy a new GMC Sierra truck and to go on a hunting trip in the fall.  The winning ticket was purchased at RG’s Food Shop, located at 14730 New George’s Creek Road in Frostburg.

  • Earlforreal

    This was my brother and he still has not paid the money he owes his family, instead he buys his ex-wife a new home and car hoping to win her back….LOL can’t wait until she leaves him again for the 15th time for another man

  • Linda

    I am so happy for you!!!!  You see anything in life is possible now what a story i was sitting here feeling sorry for myself your story made me smile wish you all the best.

  • Dburr1616

    Way to Go.  I think anyone who travels a long distance deserves to win.

  • Ernest

    Just to give every one the heads up, I have the wining numbers for to night MEGA Game. Thumbs up to the pass winner.

  • Justin

    Congrats. Was the ticket a Quick Pick or did you pick the numbers? and around what time of the day?

  • Michael Thanner

    Continuation of post below:

    This is in regard to random selects, as I realize two people could pick the same set of numbers.

  • Michael Thanner

    I would like a question answered by the lottery officials.
    Do all the possible combinations of numbers for the Mega Million and Powerball get used once before they print repeate number combinations????????? ie: Do you go thru all 175,711,536 combinations for MEGA MILLIONS before you repeat those number combinations???????

    • mdlottery

      Michael: No that is not the case. Numbers drawn for each of the Lottery’s daily drawing games, as well as Mega Millions and Powerball are arbitrary. Every time a ball is drawn, it is an independent and unique event, completely unaffected by what ball was drawn seconds, hours, days, or weeks earlier. In addition, each ball drawn has the same exact chance of being drawn as any other ball in the machine, at any point in time.

      • Michael Thanner

        That is not the question I am asking. The Question pertains to repeating the six number combinations on random draws before all the possible number combinations are used.
        ie: for Mega Million do they use all 175,711,536 combinations before they repeat the series. In theory if you print repeat random draws of the same six numbers before you go thru all the combinations you diminish the chance for a winner on specific drawing even though the odds of winning would remain the same the actual possibility of a winner would be diminished, due to the fact that the repeats would not assure a winner when the number of tickets purchased randomly reach 175,711,536 combinations .
        If you do not understand the question, please give me a phone number, so that I may explain in detail.

        • mdlottery

          Michael: I forwarded your question on to our Director of Sales. He explains to me that not all combinations are used, then recycled. For security reasons, each Maryland Lottery terminal is equipped with its own random number generator that dispenses its own unique quick pick numbers should a player choose to utilize that feature. Hope that helps and good luck.

          • Michael Thanner

            I thank you very much for the information and your patience with my multiple inquires. The only reason I raised such a question was for some material I am using in a movie script where the first billion dollar jackpot arises(highly unlikely I know…But it’s a movie) and a very wealthy individual assures his win, covering all 175,711,536 Mega Million combinations. However the random selection process upsets his plans, by producing a large number of individuals with the winning combination of numbers. ….. It is a comedy…. Hopefully the producers use the Maryland Lottery as I have written it in the script…. Thanks Again

            • mdlottery

              Michael: You’re welcome. Good luck.

      • Michael Thanner

        I am not talking about the actual drawing of the balls but rather how the computer is programed to repeat random selects when you purchase a ticket, using all 175,711,536 combinations before it repeats those combinations. There have been instances where the lottery jackpot was very high and more than 200,000,000 random tickets sold and there was still no winner. Get the picture now.

        • mdlottery

          Michael: My apologies. I do understand the question now. Let me see what I can find out.

    • Chris

      Yeah, Michael, the balls magically know not to repeat themselves. Geez.

      • seb

        I think he meant for quick pick numbers, not for the actual drawing of the numbers.

        • Michael Thanner

          That is correct . Not the individual number the probability that a set of six numbers being repeated before all the combinations are used.

      • Michael Thanner

        Hey Chris your a moron , try reading the question , or is it too complex for you to figure out!

      • Michael Thanner

        Chris try reading the question, before you comment…. Love to play somebody like you in a card game.

    • John

      Very Interested, thanks for your reply.

  • Patrck

    I see that you`ve deleted my response questioning why the ticket came up on the bar code reader as a non-winner has been taken down. Should I make an assumption that it is a regular practice to show high value tickets as non-winners to avoid a large pay-out or that it was preferred to not publish and respond to the question. Just how many people do throw away their winning ticket because they thought they made a mistake. I wonder? So do many of my friends that have read this lottery snapshot. Enlighten us about this.

    • mdlottery

      Patrick: Undoubtedly, prizes go unclaimed. However, wheather the prize is $1 or $100,000, all winners that go unclaimed go into what we call the unclaimed prize fund. By law all unclaimed prizes must go back to players. We are able to do this through promotions such as the current Keno Sprinkler and Double Play promotions.

    • Mel

      Patrick, did you not read the article. It said that the machine said to go to Lottery HQ

      • Shar

        The lottery winner “saw a message directing him to Lottery Headquarters” which he assumed meant that he was a non-winner. I think the system says that for those who win over a certtain amount of money because the winnings have to disbursed to the winner from the lottery headquaters and not the store who sold the ticket.

        According to the instructions on the back of a Mega Millions ticket on how “To Claim a Prize”, winning tiekcts valued at $600 or less are eligible for instant payoff, which means the store can give you the money you won. The instructions also say “Validated winning tickets higher than $600 will be paid by check after claim is filed.” This means that if you win more than $600, you have to contact Lottery Headquarters to get your winnings after they’ve validated the ticket. This gives them a chance to get pictures and a quote from the winner for publicity stuff (and for the IRS to get your info for the taxes you owe on your winnings).

    • Ginger

      Being someone that works at a store that sells Maryland Lottery tickets and has also sold a second tier prize on the Mega before… If this man had thrown his ticket away it would have been no one fault but his own. When a store sells a big winner like that, its not kept quiet! People are excited the news gets around pretty fast! Usually there is a banner saying what prize was sold and also if he was a regular player of the lottery he would have known that the ticket checker says “Not a Winner” when the ticket is well Not a winner… So just for the fact that it said something totally out of the norm, he did the right thing by going home and checking the ticket. He also could have had the store clerks check it for him as well, and it would have said the same message and they could have explained to him what that message meant. If the Maryland Lottery was trying to get away without having to give out the big pay outs people win then they would not have all the press they have about winnings. There is an article on this website right now saying that a prize from back in march still needs to be claimed… If they didn’t want to pay it out they would never talk about it! Stop thinking that everything is a conspiracy!

  • Congrats on the winnings and the GMC is a great choice…just wish I could afford one.. Enjoy it man! And have a safe hunting trip!

  • Linda G.

    Congrats to you! What a story I’m encouraged to continue to play. You just never know when and where you’ll buy the lucky ticket. God bless you and your family.

  • Debbie

    Good for you!!!

  • congrads to west virgina man, but wish it was me. LOL