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Elkton MD Family Business Sold $125 Million Powerball Jackpot Ticket


Last Edited: December 27, 2011, 7:16 am

On Christmas morning, an unidentified man called the restaurant and liquor store Wesley's in Elkton and asked for the winning Powerball numbers.  When a clerk read the numbers over the phone, the mystery caller said, "Looks like I am the winner."

So far, that's all the longtime family-run restaurant, lounge and liquor store knows about the person who won the $125 million jackpot. Maryland Lottery officials don't know who the winner is either. Like nearly all state offices, the agency was closed Monday, said spokeswoman Carole Y. Everett.

The winner bought at least one random-pick Powerball ticket at 3:13 p.m. Saturday at the liquor store.  Monday morning, Maryland Lottery security officials were at Wesley's, verifying that the $125 million jackpot-winning Powerball ticket was sold there.

"We looked on the camera to see who was the seller — I was the seller," said Jeff Wesley, a member of the family that operates the restaurant, which opened in 1951.

"He bought some beer," Wesley said. And, of course, the lottery ticket.

Though they scoured their video of the buyer, neither Wesley nor anybody else there recognized him. They guess they'll find out later this week.

The caller also told the clerk he'd come by in a couple of days — "after the media hype has been all settled down," Wesley said.

"It's all the talk," Wesley said.

The winner's good fortune extends to the store as well: It will get a $25,000 commission, lottery officials said.

"We are going to take all of the money and put in back into the business," Wesley said. "I'm just happy to be involved in this."

The store previously sold winning lottery tickets, including a $40,000 Keno winner, but "nothing of this magnitude," Wesley said.

Everett, the Maryland Lottery's spokeswoman, said it appears that the nationwide drawing yielded a single winner — but she didn't know if it was a shared ticket. The $125 million prize has a $78.9 million cash option and would come to $51.87 million after taxes.

She said it's not uncommon for a winner to take several days to step forward, or to be publicity shy.

This is the second winning Powerball jackpot ticket bought in the state. Another jackpot-winning ticket was purchased in September in Abingdon. In addition to Maryland, Powerball tickets are sold in 31 other states and Washington, D.C.

The winning numbers were 14, 16, 30, 51, 52 and the Powerball was 19 with a Power Play of x2.

"Personally, as far as a business owner, we will take the publicity we get," Wesley said — noting that Mega Millions jackpot was up to $206 million for the Tuesday drawing.

Entry #208


Comment by Starr920 - December 27, 2011, 7:08 am
Great story here - some guy just buying beer and a lottery ticket ends up winning millions - and has enough sense to wait until the media hype dies down before he collects:)) Of course lottery officials will want to parade him before the public but Maryland is one of the few states where winners can remain anonymous. Let's hope he's smart enough to exercise that option!!!
Comment by Starr920 - December 27, 2011, 7:14 am
Nine players matched the first 5 numbers for a $200,000 prize: 1 from Georgia, 1 from Iowa, 1 from Kentucky, 1 from Massachusetts, 1 from New Jersey, 1 from Pennsylvania (with Power Play), 1 from South Carolina, and 2 from Tennessee (1 with Power Play).
Comment by louise black - December 27, 2011, 5:06 pm
Good for whoever won ,they knew like me they stay anonymous. Good deal,that's the way to go.

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