While winning a top prize playing draw-style Maryland Lottery games is astronomically unlikely, perhaps the greatest challenge for people who do defy those odds is protecting their identities afterward. So far, a group of mystery Powerball jackpot winners is pulling off both feats.
The winning ticket was sold in one of the smallest towns in MD. So far, none of the town’s residents has any idea who the winners are. Additionally, that could never change. In fact, business owners in the town would probably prefer the anonymity to remain.
Little information on mystery Powerball jackpot winners
According to Marc Fisher of The Washington Post, two individuals in the small town of Lonaconing say they know who won the $731 million progressive jackpot. One of the in-the-know individuals is the mayor of the town, and the other is the owner of the business that sold the winning ticket, the Coney Market. Neither has broken his silence, however, other than to say the winners do live in the town.
Unlike in many other states, MD law allows lottery winners to remain anonymous. The winning ticket, a computer-generated play of 40-53-60-68-69 and Power Ball of 22, produced the largest lottery win in MD history on Jan. 20.
The Multi-State Lottery Corporation confirmed a group of an undisclosed size rather than a single individual won the pot. The group calls itself the “Power Pack.” The group claimed their prize in May, which came out to $367 million after taxes. Since then, the buzz around the winning ticket’s sale location has altered life in Lonaconing.
Most of the town’s residents have their suspicions as to who the winners are, but thus far, none of them has any proof and no one has come forward. There might be a reason that no one in the town has made any drastic lifestyle changes or purchases befitting a person who won a share of hundreds of millions of dollars.
That might be because no one in the town is part of the group, contrary to the rumors.
Maintaining the mystique is paying off
A simple truth is that just because the winning ticket was sold in Lonaconing doesn’t mean any of the people in the group actually live there. As a matter of fact, the winners may not even live in MD at all. Anyone of legal age can play the MD Lottery regardless of residency.
If no group members live in Lonaconing, then the claims of the shop’s owner and the town’s mayor are false. However, they have a vested interest in keeping the rumor that at least one member of the Power Pack lives in Lonaconing. The allure of the win and the publicity have driven economic value for the small town. Visitors have poured in.
The town’s mayor owns a floral shop and a pizzeria, putting him in a position to benefit from that influx. Some have sought handouts from the lottery winners while others have tried to replicate the win at the Coney Market.
Especially given that Lonaconing won’t see any of the bonus money from the ticket’s sale – Coney Market is outside the town’s limits – it behooves the town to milk the mystique of the win for all its worth. Of course, the claims about the winners’ residency could be true, and that individual or those individuals could just be dedicated to avoiding tipping off anyone so far.
In a small town, that’s going to get increasingly difficult to do with time. Either way, others in the town are getting some benefit from the buzz. The winners coming forward might actually curtail that benefit before it fizzles out on its own.