A group who bought a single ticket for the Powerball jackpot from a Lonaconing store stepped up to claim the $731.1m prize, a record-buster in the history of the Maryland Lottery. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Anonymous winners claim $731.1m
A winning ticket bought at a small town in Western Maryland has bagged a group of anonymous winners a $731.1m Powerball prize, the biggest-ever win recorded in the state lottery’s history.
The winner, from a group who call themselves the Power Pack, purchased the ticket from a store in the small town of Lonaconing in Allegany County on January 20. The group came forward on May 26 to claim their prize.
The Maryland Lottery took to Twitter one day later to share news of its record jackpot prize finally being claimed:
What gives the win even more of a fairytale angle is that the single Quick-Pick ticket bought at the Coney Market store was the only one the Power Pack purchased for the January jackpot draw. “This can’t be right,” the winning ticket holder said after the draw, even after checking the ticket several times. Speaking to the Power Pack in disbelief, the winner added: “I’m going to work.”
The $731.1m Maryland prize also marks the fourth-biggest Powerball jackpot ever won, as well as ranking sixth-largest US lottery win to date.
Winning group opts for a $546.8m cash lump sum
According to an official release from the Maryland Lottery, the Power Pack won’t be using the money to fund lavish lifestyles. Instead, they will invest the winnings to look after their families and make a difference within their communities “for generations to come”.
The Power Pack, which had until July 21 to claim the prize, opted for the $546.8m lump sum cash option, which is about $366.6m after federal and state taxes. According to the Washington Post, Coney Market bagged $100,000 for selling the winning Powerball ticket.
Not only will the winners remain anonymous to the world at large, they also “don’t want friends and family to know” of their massive haul, Carole Gentry, a spokesperson for the Maryland Lottery, said. Gentry added that the winners “just want to keep things the way they are.”
The lottery spokesperson did not disclose how many people are in the Power Pack, whether they worked together, or if they lived in Lonaconing – home to a population of 1,214, according to the 2010 census.
Winning against fantasy-book odds
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292 million, which makes the one-ticket strategy employed by the Power Pack even more worthy of a tale from a fantasy book. Typically, players buy multiple tickets when a large jackpot is the incentive.
The Power Pack’s single-ticket winning numbers were 40, 53, 60, 68, 69, and Powerball 22, with the winner matching all six numbers.
Despite the staggering odds “to get a win for one ticket”, Gentry said, “makes for a much more interesting story.” According to Wired magazine, a Powerball jackpot win offers “barely better odds than having your name randomly pulled from a hat filled with the names of everyone in the US.”
Fortune’s smile, however, has unique twists which give big wins an almost mythical status. Earlier this month, an Idaho woman making a last-minute detour to Las Vegas and a Massachusetts dentist forced to retire after a fall at a gambling facility in Connecticut became casino millionaires for reasons that were wildly different.