The single winning ticket was sold earlier this year at a small country store in the western Maryland town of Lonaconing. But for four months, the winners had not come forward to claim the $731.1 million prize, the largest in the state’s lottery history
Spoiler alert: They wish to remain anonymous, nicknaming themselves “the Power Pack.” They chose the $546.8 million lump sum cash option, lottery officials said, and they will get about $366.6 million after federal and state taxes.
The winning ticket was sold Jan. 20 at the Coney Market in Alleghany County, and news that the winners were locals spread excitement in the small town. Coney Market got $100,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.
The winning numbers were 40, 53, 60, 68, 69 and Powerball 22. The jackpot winner matched all six numbers.
Lottery officials said Wednesday in a statement that one of the winners told them of checking the ticket “about a half dozen times” and being in disbelief before telling the rest of the Power Pack.
That winner, who had bought the single “Quick-Pick ticket” for the Powerball drawing on Jan. 20, said: “This can’t be right. I’m going to work.”
Power Pack members told lottery officials they “have no plans to change their lifestyles,” according to a statement. The winners also said they “would like to invest the money to take care of their families and positively impact their communities ‘for generations to come.’”
Carole Gentry, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery, said the winners told officials “they don’t want family and friends to know.”
“They just want to keep things the way they are,” she said.
Gentry would not disclose how many winners were part of the Power Pack. And she wouldn’t say if the winners worked together but said she “got the impression” that they would keep working. She also wouldn’t reveal if they live in Lonaconing.
The Power Pack bought just one ticket, and that was the winner, which is pretty rare, according to Gentry. Typically, players buy multiple tickets when it is a big jackpot.
“The odds are pretty big regardless,” Gentry said, “But to get a win for one ticket — that makes for a much more interesting story.” The odds of winning are 292 million to 1 for jackpot Powerball.
The winners faced a deadline of July 21 to claim their prize. In Maryland, lottery winners have 182 days after the drawing to come forward.
Gentry said it isn’t uncommon for winners of large jackpots to take several months before they claim their prize. “It’s not unusual for a jackpot of this size for people to take their time to figure out what to do with their money,” Gentry said.
“It takes time to absorb the whole thing,” Gentry said. Referring to the $731.1 million prize, she added, “That’s a lot to take in.”
In January, when the winning numbers were drawn, Richard Ravenscroft, owner of the Coney Market, said his store — and the town of Lonaconing, population roughly 1,200 — had not had this much attention in quite a while.
The area used to depend on coal mining and now relies on strip mining for employment and support. It is the birthplace of Robert Moses “Lefty” Grove, a Hall of Fame pitcher who at one point played in Baltimore for a minor league team called the Orioles.
“I’ve not seen this much excitement here in Lonaconing in my lifetime,” Ravenscroft said at the time of the drawing.
Maryland is one of a handful of states where winners can remain anonymous, along with Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming.
The $731.1 million jackpot was the largest prize in Maryland’s lottery history, and it ranked as the fourth-largest in Powerball history and the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history.
The Power Pack isn’t the only group to claim anonymity. In 2012, a trio who called themselves the Three Amigos won a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in Maryland.