Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited August 9, 2022, 5:51 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Pennsylvania judge and friends win $291M Powerball jackpot

Mar 6, 2016, 8:50 am

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter
PowerballPowerball: Pennsylvania judge and friends win $291M Powerball jackpotRating:

Bought ticket while vacationing in Florida

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — After a long ride back from his annual Florida vacation, Senior District Judge James Stocklas had enjoyed the sun and fun, but was anxious to get back home to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

After parking his RV in the driveway, Stocklas caught a few hours sleep and awoke Friday morning with plans to visit his favorite Bethlehem diner. While at breakfast, he pulled out his cellphone to see if anyone had won massive Powerball lottery.

His jaw dropped when he saw there was only one winning ticket that had been purchased in the same Florida town where Stocklas bought ice and $10 in tickets to share with two friends.

When Stocklas checked the numbers, he couldn't stop shaking. He had a match. He and his friends had just won more than $291 million.

"I was yelling and I bought everyone in the diner breakfast," Stocklas said. "When I found out, I was shaking for an hour straight."

The other winners are a local woman, whom Stocklas declined to identify, and Barry Bartakovits, who owns a pool business in Hellertown.

"This is like an amazing roller coaster ride," said Stocklas, who was back in Florida on Friday night.

After taxes, Stocklas said the three friends will have more than $40 million each.

The friends decided they had to immediately get to Florida to lay claim to their winnings and Stocklas called to rent a private jet.

When he found out the cost was $3,000 an hour — a total bill expected to ring up around $20,000 — Stocklas made his first big lottery purchase.

The friends bought several bottles of chilled champagne to share on the way down.

Much of the day was a blur of signing papers and watching their winnings winnow down with taxes, and on Friday night, Stocklas and the friends found themselves at an Applebee's restaurant for a quick bite before flying back home.

"I know, Applebee's," Stocklas chuckled. "We are really going top shelf, right?"

Stocklas serves as a senior district judge in Northampton County and said that won't change. He's already told court administrators he'll return to the courtroom April 1, no April Fool's joke.

"Oh, I'll be back on the bench," Stocklas said. "There's no doubt."

He said he'll use the money to help his family and set up several trust funds. He would also like to donate some of the money to charities.

He never expected a routine stop at a convenience store for some ice and lottery tickets could change his and his friends' lives forever.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook," Stocklas said. "I don't think I'm going to get much sleep tonight."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to Raven62 and sandia for the tip.

Morning Call

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

50 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by rcbbuckeye.
Page 1 of 4
BuyLow's avatar - fd725949c52faf3bef0a9e377747408d -iphone-wallpaper-palm-trees.jpg
United States
Member #61433
May 22, 2008
1228 Posts

Love the fact he chartered a private jet and then they ate at Applebees lol!!


Congrats to them!!

    rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
    United States
    Member #55887
    October 23, 2007
    13812 Posts

    I had to laugh. A guy from PA winning PB in Florida!

    You just never know when or where, or who.

    I wonder how long til negative nellies bemoan that his name is out and he chartered a jet, yada, yada, yada. LOL.



      OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
      Gurnee, Illinois
      United States
      Member #49729
      February 12, 2007
      951 Posts

      He could probably already afford to fly by chartered jet given that he owns a RV and is a Senior District Judge.  I never bemoan how other people spend their money but good luck on that plan to remain on the bench and in the community...he will be hounded to no end for handouts.


      Personally, I would fly commercial flight to nearest city to lottery headquarters and then rent my own vehicle.  I figure commercial flying is the safest way to go and driving myself is definitely safer than relying on a driver.  I would have no problem with my name being published but I would not allow myself to be photographed without something covering up my body.  Why I just might show up to claim my prize wearing a burqa...and I am a man!

      Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is one  MIRACLE I desire for 2019!!!  NOW come to my subconscious mind you 6 winning numbers!US Flag

        Artist77's avatar - batman14

        United States
        Member #121739
        January 16, 2012
        7964 Posts

        Did they split it evenly?


          schmuckatelly's avatar - half planet.jpg
          Jacksonville, Florida
          United States
          Member #140358
          March 17, 2013
          195 Posts

          I love the $7.00 check, lol!

          Jan Powerball pool contributions -$194 + $38 win = - $156 Net;  Feb -$320 TBD

            duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
            Jacksonville Florida
            United States
            Member #23017
            October 6, 2005
            1103 Posts

            Another Quick Pick wins big. No system - just luck!

              New Member

              United States
              Member #77977
              August 4, 2009
              8 Posts

              I agree old school papa


                United States
                Member #164717
                March 12, 2015
                1300 Posts

                I had originally read that the winner was a one line quick pick. Looks like the judge bought $10 worth of tickets or 5 lines.  I think I would have just booked first class.

                  music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                  Fresno, California
                  United States
                  Member #157849
                  August 2, 2014
                  3959 Posts

                   Congratulations to Senior District Judge in North Hampton County James Stocklas!!!

                  James, Barry Bartakovits and an unidentified woman wasted no time in getting to Tallahasee, Florida. No lawyers, no guards, no CPA, no CFP, no media specialist, no insurance agent.

                   I see how being a Judge brings you closer to Law Enforcement. Help is a phone call away.

                   "We are all in this together!" 

                    golfer1960's avatar - Lottery-003.jpg
                    Eatontown, NJ
                    United States
                    Member #119665
                    November 29, 2011
                    850 Posts

                    Another Quick Pick wins big. No system - just luck!

                    Yes, QP's are lucky. I need some luck now too.

                      Akron, Ohio
                      United States
                      Member #145641
                      August 10, 2013
                      39 Posts

                      This seems like a inside Fraud to me!!! No wonder why Cynthia O Connell got canned I'm not playing anymore they cheating and the Michael Tipton case blew the cover off the whole MUSL fraud operation fake winners!! #rigged

                        xstreamgaming15's avatar - 41M8sCXM8YL _SY300_.jpg
                        United States
                        Member #170966
                        December 25, 2015
                        30 Posts

                        It's nice that a group of friends won the $292 Mil Powerball Jackpot then just a sole individual. A little over forty million after taxes everyone gets a big piece of the pie.

                          sweetie7398's avatar - flower2

                          United States
                          Member #22701
                          September 30, 2005
                          14424 Posts


                          Be persistent😊

                            United States
                            Member #163182
                            January 22, 2015
                            2985 Posts

                            It's nice that a group of friends won the $292 Mil Powerball Jackpot then just a sole individual. A little over forty million after taxes everyone gets a big piece of the pie.

                            Is Florida like Kentucky and Indiana in the fact that the latter two states will cut separate checks?  This relieves the purchaser of a huge tax burden, everyone pays their own taxes thanks to these lotteries.