Someone Won $731M Here. Now, 'Strange Things' Are Happening

Powerball mystery continues in Lonaconing, Md.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2021 8:40 AM CDT
Small Town Racks Its Brain to Figure Out Who Won $731M
Lottery tickets are seen at the Coney Market on Tuesday in Lonaconing, Md.   (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP)

Whoever won this Powerball jackpot "is no fool." That's the assessment of the Washington Post, which covers a group of still-anonymous $731 million lottery winners in Lonaconing, Md., and the "strange things" that have been happening since the win was announced in January. Everyone in the former coal-mining town of just 400 families has been trying to figure out who took home the big prize—the state's biggest ever and the fifth largest in US history—though it's been difficult, as Maryland is one of just seven states that permits lottery winners to hide under the cover of anonymity. All that's known thus far is that the ticket was purchased at Coney Market, the numbers were selected via the "quick pick" method, and the prize was claimed in May by a group calling itself the "Power Pack," WBOC reported. The winners chose the $546.8 million lump-sum option, or about $366.6 million after taxes.

Both residents and out-of-towners have been reacting to the news in various, sometimes odd, ways. Some beset by superstition are driving in from neighboring areas to pick up lottery tickets at the "lucky" market, while others thousands of miles away are sending cash to the market and asking workers to mail tickets back. Store owner Richard Ravenscroft says people have even asked him to pony up cash so they can buy chain saws and get their driveways paved, among other requests (as the seller of the ticket, the market received $100,000). Meanwhile, locals want the winners to invest some of the jackpot back into the town, where the poverty rate hovers at 24%. Everyone has theories on who the winners are, with townspeople keeping tabs on who's been making big purchases. Ravenscroft's take: "We'll find out who the winners are when they quietly move away." Much more here. (More Powerball stories.)

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