A couple from Pennsylvania started 2017 with a $121.6 million prize after matching all five white balls plus the red Powerball in the Dec. 17 lottery drawing. The man and woman, who wished to remain anonymous, purchased the winning ticket at Selbyville Goose Creek, a subsidiary of Cato Gas & Goose Creek Food Stores, located at 38452 DuPont Boulevard in Selbyville.
According to Delaware Lottery officials, the man, who has been playing the Delaware Lottery since its inception in 1975, normally plays Powerball and Mega Millions when the jackpots get large.
For years, they said, he has played the same numbers. He originally bought a Powerball Quick Pick ticket a long time ago and liked those numbers, they said, so he stuck with them ever since. It finally paid off.
“I figured it only takes one ticket to win,” said the man. “I went to the machine and scanned my ticket, and all these numbers came up. I have never seen that many zeroes in my life! Once reality set in, my first reaction was to cry. I walked out of the store in tears and returned to my wife, who was waiting for me in the car.”
“He came to the car and had tears on his face,” said the woman. “I didn’t know what to think at first, but then he said anxiously, ‘We are millionaires!’ I was so confused I didn’t believe him and thought he was joking, so I made him double-check the numbers on his phone, and we got the same results.”
The winners selected the $72.1 million cash option and told Delaware Lottery officials they already have big plans for their prize money.
“This is just such a great experience, and we don’t want to spend the money foolishly,” said the woman. “I have strong feelings toward education and would want to make donations to schools or other charities in the future. We’ve also had our eyes on an RV. Since we travel a lot, it would be perfect for our family.”
In addition, the man told Delaware Lottery officials it has always been a dream of his to own a hotrod, and he may get one down the road.
The drawing represents the second-highest Delaware jackpot winner on a single ticket. The highest was in 2004, when a winner of the $214.7 million jackpot took the cash option of $116.9 million.
“Winning is not going to change me,” said the woman. “I told him I don’t want us to be different because of the money. We are very blessed to win.”
The winning numbers for the Dec. 17 drawing were 01, 08, 16, 57 and 67. The Powerball number was 09. The winners claimed their prize (less 25 percent, after federal tax) at Delaware Lottery Headquarters in Dover on Friday, Jan. 13.