Powerball jackpot winner worth $731.1M sold in Maryland

Jackpot Winner In $730m Powerball, None In Mega Millions
Mark Moran

Jacqueline Donahue of Hazleton, right, buys la Mega Millions lottery ticket at the Anthracite Newsstand on Public Square, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

LONACONING, Md. (AP) — The jackpot-winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million was sold at Coney Market in Lonaconing, the Maryland Lottery announced on Thursday.

The Allegany County store 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.

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 about 20 percent, well above the national average.

The Powerball jackpot came only a day after nobody won the $970 million Mega Millions prize, the third-largest prize in U.S. history.

Winning numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.

It was the first time both lottery jackpots topped $700 million. The biggest prize was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.

No one had won either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

The prizes listed are for winners who choose an annuity option, paid over 30 years. Most winners opt for cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be $716.3 million and $546.8 million for Wednesday’s Powerball. After the Powerball win, the new jackpot has a $15 million cash value.

Those prizes also would be subject to federal taxes, and most states would take a cut as well.

Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.