Prize from March 25 drawing went unclaimed for months because of disbelief
A casual Maryland Lottery player from Hyattsville won $100,000 on the March 25 Powerball drawing, but waited until Aug. 4 to claim the third-tier prize because it didn’t seem like it was real.
Back on March 25, the estimated jackpot was at $112 million, which got the player’s attention. “I don’t play that often. When the number is big enough to notice when I’m driving by, I play,” he explained.
The Prince George’s County resident bought a single quick-pick ticket with the Power Play option, put it in his wallet and promptly forgot about it. The hot ticket was purchased at 4 Way Stop Market at 5910 40th Avenue in Hyattsville.
Time passed. His wife was going through his wallet, found the ticket, and said, “You should go down and check this.” The obliging winner took the ticket to a store near his home and scanned the ticket for a win. A message appeared, telling him to take the ticket to Lottery headquarters.
Unclear about the somewhat cryptic message, he took the ticket home, looked up the numbers online and concluded his ticket was worth a lot of money. But he didn’t necessarily believe that fact and his wife was of the same opinion. He sat on the ticket for a few more weeks before making an appointment and claiming his prize at Lottery headquarters. Only then did realization of his big win sink in.
“That’s a lot of money,” he said. “It’s not life-changing, but that’s a lot of money.”
The loyal player has no big plans for the windfall, other than getting some work done on his truck. Instead of coordinating maintenance piecemeal, he said he’ll take the vehicle to a shop and get everything fixed at once. After that, he expects, he’ll still have a lot of the prize left. That’s going in the bank for a rainy day, the winner said.
“It will rain. Sometimes it makes the grass grow. Sometimes you just get wet,” he mused. Asked if he planned to play more games in the future, he responded: “Are you kidding? I already bought one!”
His story mirrors that of a lot of people who buy tickets when jackpots are high, but then forget to check them when they hear no one hit for the big money and the jackpot rolled. In addition to the jackpot, however, there are multiple lower-tier prizes for Powerball and Mega Millions from second-tier prizes of $10 million (Double Play) down to $2.
The Maryland Lottery encourages players to carefully check all of their tickets, especially if no one wins the jackpot, because there are a lot of other winners. On just the most recent Mega Millions drawing on Aug. 1, there were 117,549 winners in Maryland of amounts ranging from $2 to $10,000. Though most players won lower-tier prizes in the $2 to $10 range, there were 286 tickets with prizes of $200 or more for just that one drawing.
Maryland Lottery tickets expire 182 days (six months) after the drawing, so even tickets that have gone unchecked for a few months can still be valuable. There are 13 such Mega Millions and Powerball tickets that remain unclaimed as of Aug. 4:
- $4 million ticket purchased July 17 at the Lobby Shop, 1 North Charles Street, Baltimore
- $40,000 ticket purchased July 22 at Giant #353, 8100 Loch Raven Boulevard, Towson
- $10,000 ticket purchased June 27 at Eastgate Liquors, 10505 Greenbelt Road, Lanham
- $10,000 ticket purchased Aug. 1 at South River Colony Exxon, 111 Mitchells Chance Road, Edgewater
- $10,000 ticket purchased June 9 at Elkridge Marathon, 6315 Washington Boulevard, Elkridge
- $10,000 ticket purchased April 21 at 7-Eleven #11591, 5402 Randolph Road, Rockville
- $10,000 ticket purchased June 27 at Grantsville Exxon, 26 South Yoder Street, Grantsville
- $1 million ticket purchased July 18 at Greensboro Quick Shop, 13760 Greensboro Road, Greensboro
- $100,000 ticket purchased May 8 at Friendly Mart, 2308 Iverson Street, Temple Hills
- $100,000 ticket purchased July 19 at Marlow Wings & Sports Grill, 4147 Branch Avenue, Temple Hills
- $50,000 ticket purchased July 29 at Magothy Inn, 564 Center Street, Pasadena
- $50,000 ticket purchased July 21 at Tucker’s Liquors, 8100 Old Alexandria Ferry Road, Clinton
- $50,000 ticket with Double Play purchased May 27 at Royal Farms #217-E, 9180 Fingerboard Road, Urbana