$731 million Powerball ticket sold in poor Maryland town

Lucky winner hasn’t come forward but is allowed to remain anonymous

A lottery ticket sold in a hard-luck coal mining town in Maryland matched all the winning numbers in Wednesday night’s colossal $731.1 million Powerball jackpot drawing.

A winner has yet to come forward to claim the fifth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history but also could elect to remain anonymous as contest rules allow.

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The Powerball drawing went four months without a winner, which pushed the jackpot to incredible new heights.

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Such a long stretch without a winner is rare and reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

The winning numbers were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.

An even larger Mega Millions $970 million-plus prize will be drawn Friday night, the third largest in U.S. history. 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.

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The winning Powerball ticket was bought at Coney Market, a convenience store in the Allegany County town of Lonaconing, which happens to be the hometown of baseball legend Robert Moses “Lefty” Grove. Grove pitched 17 seasons in the big leagues, nine with the Philadelphia Athletics and eight with the Red Sox. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947 and died in 1975.

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The store will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the ticket, Maryland Lottery officials said.

“We’re really happy for somebody,” Richard Ravenscroft, the store’s owner, told The Associated Press by phone. “I can’t wait to congratulate the person. I just hope whoever has won it uses it wisely and that other people benefit from it.”

Ravenscroft said he may use the money to expand the store’s kitchen to provide more menu offerings.

Lonaconing is a town of about 300 families that’s well off the beaten track, with a poverty rate of more than 22%, well above the national average.

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Coney Market, named for what locals call their town, is in a century-old building along Maryland’s Route 36, which was designated a Coal Heritage Route in an attempt to attract tourists. It draws its share of regulars, who can eat hamburgers and submarine sandwiches in a small seating area.

The town has a long history of losses, from the iron furnace that closed in 1855 to the glassworks that were shuttered in the early 1900s, to the coal mining jobs that virtually disappeared after World War II. Periodic floods along Georges Creek have been devastating, and local streams carry acid from abandoned mines.

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Ravenscroft said there is still some strip mining in the area, although that’s winding down because of environmental concerns, and the remaining factory, a pulp and paper company, shut down recently after going through a series of buyouts. Another company is coming in that plans to hire about 200 people to make something out of wood chips, he said.

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

Information provided by The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.

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