$128.8 Million Prize Won on Christmas Eve
An excited Pennsylvania couple arrived at Lottery Headquarters today, accompanied by legal counsel, to claim their $128.8 million Powerball prize. The elated twosome, who chose to remain anonymous, had the only winning ticket for the Christmas Eve drawing. The couple’s Quick Pick Powerball numbers of 14, 16, 30, 51, 52 and Power Ball 19, matched all five white balls and the red Power Ball to win the second-largest jackpot ever hit in Maryland. A Baltimore County woman holds the record for the largest jackpot prize in the state with a $183 million Mega Millions win in 2003.
The lucky Lottery player walked into Wesley’s, a restaurant in Elkton, on Christmas Eve to purchase a case of beer and on his way out happened to see the Mega Millions and Powerball signs. “The Mega Millions jackpot was larger, but the drawing for Powerball was that evening, so I bought two tickets for that drawing,” said the nervous winner. His spur-of-the-moment purchase made for a-once-in-a-lifetime holiday season.
“I checked my tickets on Christmas day,” said the winner. “When I saw the numbers, I started stomping on the floor and shouted to my wife to come upstairs.” Thinking her husband had dropped something, she quickly ran upstairs to find the Powerball ticket in her husband’s shaking hands. “We were in shock,” she said. “At first, we thought we’d won $20 million. To discover it was over $125 million was unreal.”
The couple has not yet decided whether to take the $128.8 million annuity or the cash option of approximately $81 million. They intend to use some of the prize money to pay off their debts and give to charity. The ticket was purchased at Wesley’s, located at 3700 Telegraph Rd. in Elkton. Wesley’s will receive $25,000 commission for selling the winning ticket.
Maryland joined Powerball two years ago and has produced two jackpot winners. The first Powerball jackpot won in Maryland was for $108.8 million and was claimed by an Abingdon couple in September 2011. There have also been 21 second-tier $200,000 Powerball winners since its arrival to the state. Three of these second-tier wins turned into $1 million prizes as a result of the Power Play option.
Beginning Sunday, January 15, 2012, the multi-state jackpot game will double its starting jackpot from $20 million to $40 million. In addition, the second-tier prize will rise from the current $200,000 to $1 million. If a player adds the Power Play option, the second-tier prize automatically doubles to $2 million. The ticket price also changes, moving from $1 to $2 for a single Powerball ticket. The first Powerball drawing under the new game structure will take place on Wednesday, January 18.
The multi-state Powerball game is played in 44 states and jurisdictions. Powerball drawings can be seen locally on Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 11:22 pm on WBAL-TV, Channel 11.