A small-town New Jersey family came back from a vacation in North Carolina this summer with a special souvenir of their trip: A winning $2 million Powerball lottery ticket.
The family made a rest stop at a convenience store in Germantown, which is located in Montgomery County, Maryland.
They bought some snacks at the 7-Eleven convenience store and grabbed some lottery tickets which came from a vending machine, according to a post on the Maryland Lottery Commission website.
The names of the winners and their hometown were not released.
“The cashier, for some reason, thought we wanted cigarettes,” said the woman who won. “She finally realized we wanted Lottery and steered us to the vending machine.”
Only missed the Powerball Lottery number
In addition to the Powerball tickets, the family purchased Cash4Life and Mega Millions tickets.
They put away their tickets and continued their trip home to New Jersey. However, the family didn’t tune in to watch the drawings on television.
In fact, they didn’t even check the numbers on their tickets until August. The tickets wee purchased in July.
And, when the mother of the family finally compared the numbers on her Powerball ticket to the ones from the July 24 drawing, she realized her $15 ticket was worth so much more.
The numbers on the ticket, which had Power Play, matched the first five numbers from that drawing: 1, 4, 11, 59 and 67.
The family missed getting the Powerball number, which was 10, by just one digit. Their ticket had a 9.
“I couldn’t believe we matched all of the numbers except the Powerball,” she said. “I had to download the mobile app so I could scan the ticket to know for sure.”
She said she ran out of the house screaming when her husband came home.
Her husband just kept looking at the winning ticket in disbelief, she said.
“I had to look at the ticket several times,” said her husband, an operator. “It’s amazing that we were only off by one number.”
Matching the first five white balls, even with missing the Powerball number, means a second-tire $1 million win.
The New Jersey family made sure to add the Power Play multiplier which doubled their prize to $2 million.
The wife, a paraprofessional, stashed the ticket in a safe place and then set up an appointment to claim their cash.
Winning family still in shock over win
The parents of three children said they saved the news about the win as a surprise.
They didn’t say anything about the lottery win until they picked up their youngest child on the way to Maryland to claim their reward.
“They just said, ‘Come on, we need to go’,” said the daughter. “When we got in the car, they told me we won and I was like, ‘Cool, let’s go’.”
The family told lottery officials that they plan to pay off debt with the prize money and put the rest in savings. They say they are still in shock about the win.
So far in 2021, Maryland retailers have sold four second tier winning Powerball tickets. Two were for $2 million and two for $1 million.