Second Time’s the Charm for Charles County Powerball Player

Charles County’s Gene Shontere, Jr. collects his $50,000 Powerball prize.

Lottery newcomer claims $50,000 Powerball prize  

Lawrence “Gene” Shontere, Jr. is a very lucky Maryland Lottery player. The Indian Head resident, who just claimed a $50,000 Powerball prize, won big with the second Lottery ticket he’s ever bought.

A $10 quick-pick ticket for the March 13 drawing delivered the game’s third-tier prize. A member of Hawthorne Country Club in La Plata, Gene was enjoying a drink at the clubhouse last month when the bartender asked if he wanted to buy a Powerball ticket. The employee noted that the game’s jackpot for the next drawing was over $500 million.

“When she asked me about playing, it reminded me that I’d bought a ticket from her a few days earlier,” Gene said. “I dug it out of my wallet and asked her if I’d won anything.” That ticket would soon produce confusion, disbelief and, ultimately, a subdued celebration.

“She came back with a puzzled look on her face,” said the Charles County man. “She told me that she didn’t know what to do, that she’d never seen anything like this before.” It turns out that the bartender’s Lottery experience had never involved a winner of his magnitude. “She told me that the machine was saying that I’d won $50,000,” Gene said. “She even printed it out to prove it to me. We were both stunned.”

The 60-year-old winner, who restores furniture for a living, has taken his Powerball win in stride. “I’ve been pretty lucky in life, so a Lottery win seemed like it’d be unlikely.” In fact, he was so cool after hearing the news that his lucky bartender chided him for not being more excited. “I knew what she meant, but I’m a low-key kind of guy and, to be honest, I didn’t really believe it was true,” Gene said, adding, “not until I got here today.”

Gene was the only Marylander and one of 38 Powerball players in the March 13 drawing to win $50,000 prizes. His lucky Lottery retailer, Hawthorne Country Club, is located at 8760 Hawthorne Road in La Plata. The happy winner plans to buy a boat and the Powerball cash will go toward his purchase.

The jackpot is back on a roll after being hit in Wisconsin on March 27. There’s still time to buy tickets for the Saturday, April 20 drawing, and try to win the $136 million jackpot.