‘Private person’ goes about his business ‘like nothing happened.’
A Baltimore man became a Powerball millionaire when the balls were drawn on Sept. 30, but he didn’t have a clue until three and a half weeks later. When he claimed the prize at Lottery headquarters this week, he wasn’t even sure where he had bought the ticket.
Back on Sept. 30, the Powerball jackpot was approaching $1 billion and the eventual $1 million winner was on his way to a bring-your-own-libation party. He stopped at Golden Ring Liquors at 8651 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale and, as he often does when he’s shopping at a location that offers Lottery games, he added a few Powerball tickets to his purchase.
“I play when I get a chance. Not every time, but if I’m in a store, I usually get a couple,” he told Lottery officials. The 41-year-old went on to say he has a few locations where he keeps recently purchased tickets, and one of them is in an envelope in his vehicle. He then checks the tickets at his leisure, sometimes days or weeks later.
“I keep them everywhere. I check them and write what each is worth, then I go and cash in,” he said.
Previously, his best single win was $500, but he ended up collecting about $1,000 total because other tickets also came up as small-prize winners. Finding out about the $1 million prize came as a pleasant shock.
“I kept saying I need to check those tickets,” he said. Using the Lottery app on his smartphone, he scanned a stack of tickets and got the usual “not a winner” message or small-prize notifications. Then came the big winner.
“I had to keep looking at it!” the loyal player said. At first, he thought the message said $100,000, but then he realized there were six zeros, not five, making it a $1 million win. He went on to check the ticket several more times at home “and again before I came here,” he said on the day he claimed his prize.
The Maryland Lottery encourages all players to check their tickets regularly because winning tickets expire 182 days, or six months, after the date of the drawing.
It was Oct. 23 when he discovered the ticket was a winner. Although happy about his Lottery luck, he told no one and went about his business.
“I went to work like nothing happened. Tomorrow I’m going to work like nothing happened,” he said. As of the time he made his claim, he had told no one about the windfall, and his plan is to tell no one, except maybe years from now.
“I’m a private person,” he explained.
The father of one young child, the new millionaire plans to put money away for his son’s future and invest some for himself. And, he plans to keep on playing the Lottery.
“I played a couple just before I got here,” he said, after claiming his prize.
For selling a second-tier winning Powerball ticket, Golden Ring Liquors receives a bonus from the Lottery of $2,500.