Source - The jackpot-winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million was sold in an old coal mining town where jobs are few and whose biggest claim to fame is being the hometown of baseball legend Lefty Grove, the Maryland Lottery announced on Thursday.
Coney Market, a convenience store in the Allegany County town of Lonaconing, will receive a $100,000 bonus from the Maryland Lottery for selling the ticket to the fifth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
It had been more than four months since anyone won the Powerball, allowing the game’s jackpot to grow so large. An even larger Mega Millions jackpot will be up for grabs Friday night.
Normally when I read stories like these I get upset, but this one is different. The town where the winning ticket was sold is made up of 300 mostly former coal mining families many of whom live below the poverty line. In other words, they're poor as shit. Here's how the associated press described the town and what the locals are saying about the winner...
Just who will collect the prize may never be known: Maryland is one of the states that allows winners to remain anonymous. But keeping quiet about such a huge windfall could prove difficult if the ticket was bought by a local. Lonaconing is a town of about 300 families that’s well off the beaten track, with a poverty rate of more than 22 percent, well above the national average.
“We’re really happy for somebody,” Richard Ravenscroft, the store’s owner, told The Associated Press by phone. “We don’t know who it is yet.” Coney Market, named for what locals call their town, is in a standalone building more than a century old, along Maryland’s Route 36. It’s a place where people can eat hamburgers and submarine sandwiches in a small seating area that draws its share of regulars.
A former coal mining town, Lonaconing doesn’t have a lot of money. “I can’t wait to congratulate the person. I just hope whoever has won it uses it wisely and that other people benefit from it,” he said. Ravenscroft, for his part, wants to expand the store’s kitchen and serve real meals, like mashed potatoes and gravy. Perhaps the bonus can help with that.
What lovely group of people. I just hope whoever it was isn't old. That's my only ask. They check every other box you'd want from a lottery winner, but age is the big one. Ideally they're in their late twenties so they've worked a little, but you want them young enough to really be able to enjoy it. Regardless, the $731.1 million works out to cash option of $546.8 million before taxes. Insane. What's even more isnane is that tomorrow's Mega Millions drawing is $970 million with a $716 million cash option. It's going to be wild when I'm blogging myself as the winner. Oh well. Best of luck to whoever has that ticket. You're going to need it!