Elkridge Couple Wins $1 Million Powerball Prize

Carrie Groves - Powerball_webGlen and Carrie Groves were the lucky winners of a $1 million Powerball prize in the Dec. 9 drawing.

Two days after drawing, winners discover their Lottery luck

What if your whole life was about to change and you didn’t even know it? That’s where Carrie Groves found herself on the morning of Dec. 11.

The 36-year-old Elkridge resident is less than two weeks from celebrating her birthday, but before she gets to it, she has a much different reason to smile.

On Dec. 7, she spent $2 on a Powerball ticket at the Giant Food store at 6020 Marshalee Drive in Elkridge. The numbers on the single line she played were Quick Picked by the terminal in advance of the Dec. 9 drawing. She didn’t watch the drawing that night, and didn’t see any of the media reports that circulated the next day saying that a $1 million-winning ticket was sold at that very Giant store.

Two days after the drawing she went to a nearby 7-Eleven and scanned her ticket at the store’s Lottery ticket checker.

“The message said ‘Cash at Lottery,’ but there was no amount,” Carrie said. “I knew it was going to be a lot, but didn’t know how much.”

Carrie then returned to her car, sat in the parking lot at the 7-Eleven with the doors locked and pulled out her cell phone. She scanned the ticket using the Maryland Lottery’s My Lottery Rewards App, which enables players to immediately learn a winning ticket’s prize value. And what she saw left her amazed.

“It was a bunch of zeroes,” she said. “I said, ‘Wait, let me count all these zeroes. I was shaking. I was excited.”

Carrie immediately called her husband Glen, who was at work.

“She said, ‘Baby, I’m shaking,’” Glen recalled. “And I started thinking the worst. But it turns out it was the best.”

Carrie’s ticket matched all five of the white balls that were picked in the Dec. 9 drawing – 7, 10, 16, 46 and 56. And that means Carrie and Glen and their two children are millionaires.

Carrie said she purchases Lottery tickets occasionally, when she’s in the store and the line at the terminal isn’t long. The most she had ever won playing Lottery games before was a $500 scratch-off prize earlier this year.

“And I thought that was a lot,” she said.

The couple celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary earlier this year, and with their prize money they are planning to begin looking to buy their first home. But Carrie and Glen also discussed plans to give money to a few charities, including Toys for Tots and the Maryland Food Bank.

“We want to help some organizations that have helped us – repay the favor,” Glen said.

For selling the second-tier winning ticket, the Giant store in Elkridge will receive a $2,500 bonus from the Maryland Lottery.

Carrie’s $1 million win in the Dec. 9 drawing marked the sixth time this year that a second-tier winning ticket was sold in Maryland. The other five $1 million tickets sold in 2015 were in Essex, Oakland, Bowie, Columbia and another in Elkridge.

Nationally, there were 617,221 winning Powerball tickets sold for the Dec. 9 drawing. Maryland saw 13,919 players win prizes ranging from the $1 million second-tier win down to $4. The 1,598 Marylanders who paid the extra $1 to add Power Play to the $2 ticket saw their prizes doubled as a result of the 2x multiplier.

With no one hitting the jackpot, Powerball’s top prize continues to climb. The estimated jackpot for the next drawing on Dec. 12 is $164 million, with an estimated cash option of $99.6 million.

Watch televised Powerball drawings at 11:22 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays on WBAL-TV. Winning numbers are available at mdlottery.com and on your smartphone by downloading the free MD Lottery app. Powerball is offered in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tickets cost $2 each.