Working at the convenience store where a $213.2 million Powerball ticket was sold -- the largest jackpot prize in Pennsylvania lottery history -- had Bo Ridgeway waxing philosophical yesterday.
"It's really something if you think about it. Fantasy and myth far outweigh rational thinking," the Cumberland Farms clerk said. "People come into the store thinking they're going to win. Just like that person. It came to fruition for one person."
That person, who has not come forward yet, purchased the ticket for the Saturday drawing from the convenience store on Route 532 in Washington Crossing, Bucks County. It's near the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River in 1776.
Store manager Randy Boldizar said the buyer could be from the area, or the winner could be one of the many who come from New Jersey to buy tickets. Or it could have been an out-of-towner who stopped in after a visit to the historic site.
"I hope it's a local person, somebody that could really use it," Boldizar said.
The winning numbers: 3-9-17-37-43, and the red Powerball, 39.
The winner might not surface right away because you get a year to claim the money. And in fact, lottery officials yesterday said the winner should do several things before coming forward.
"Sign the back of the ticket, keep it in a safe place, get some financial counsel, and then give us a call," said Pennsylvania Lottery executive director Edward Mahlman.
The Cumberland Farms store will receive a $400,000 bonus for selling the winning jackpot ticket.
On top of the money, Jason Hirst, 18, another clerk at the Washington Crossing store said the winning ticket has been good for business.
"It's been pretty hectic. Besides all the news being here, everybody is coming in and checking their tickets," he said.
"Honestly, I kind of hope the winner is somebody I know."
Ridgeway, 49, said he hoped the winner would look kindly upon Cumberland Farms employees.
"Most definitely. Not just me, but everyone who works here."
He said many of the store's lottery players are of the serious and superstitious nature.
"They want seven single tickets or a group of four tickets or 13 tickets or they want special numbers. Hope springs eternal. You're selling hope, that's what the lottery is. It's interesting to watch."