Powerball lottery winner nearly threw out $1.5m ticket

She almost threw away her winning $US1 million ($1.46 million) lottery ticket from Wednesday night's $US1.6 billion ($2.33 billion) Powerball draw.

Kathryn and Ricardo with their oversized lottery cheque.
Kathryn and Ricardo with their oversized lottery cheque. Photo: Maryland Lottery

That's the story Kathryn and her husband, Ricardo, told Maryland lottery officials in the United States when they went to claim their prize after the biggest lottery draw in the history of the game.

The couple's last name was not revealed because Maryland is one of six states where winners can remain anonymous or have few details released on their identities. But they did snap their photo holding the oversized $US1 million cheque at lottery headquarters in the "Winners Lounge".

Kathryn told lottery officials: "I still can't breathe."

The three winning tickets of the $US1.6 billion jackpot were bought in Tennessee, Florida and California, lottery officials said. And a Tennessee couple claims they have one of them. 


Lisa and John Robinson of Munford, Tennessee told the Today show they had won and said they appeared on the television show on the advice of their lawyer.

Lisa and John Robinson hold one of three winning US Powerball tickets.

Lisa and John Robinson hold one of three winning US Powerball tickets. Photo: Twitter

John Robinson said that although he did not feel well, he bought the ticket at Naifeh's Food Mart in the Memphis suburb of Munford at his wife's request on Wednesday night, just hours before the draw. Tennessee lottery officials confirmed on Thursday that Naifeh's had sold a winning ticket.

On Thursday, two of the non-jackpot winners also came forward: A 25-year-old woman in a suburb of Baltimore won about $US50,000, and another woman in Stafford, Virginia won $US1 million.

For Kathryn, Thursday morning - the day after the big draw - was just another day, she told lottery officials. She went to work and told colleagues she was going to "throw out her Powerball ticket since there were no jackpot winners in Maryland", lottery officials said.

But wait, a co-worker told her, you may want to look at your ticket because someone bought a winning $1 million ticket at the Wawa store on Urbana Pike in Frederick.

Hold on.

"I checked the ticket and saw that we won," Kathryn said. She went to the Wawa, the clerk scanned her ticket.

When the clerk told her it was too large to cash the prize, Kathryn said: "I knew it was really happening."

The Wawa store gets $2500 for selling the winning ticket.

Lottery officials said the couple told them they have "big but realistic plans for their prize" money. They said they plan to buy a house, take a vacation and start a college fund for their 10-month-old baby. Oh, and Ricardo said he wants a new truck and a nice watch.

Ricardo, 36, told lottery officials that "one of the best parts about this was calling my mom".

"All these years, I've wondered what it would be like to call my mom and tell her I won the lottery," he said. "It felt great to be able to make that call."

The big Powerball lottery draw had attracted plenty of ticket buyers across the country as many waited in line for a chance to dream of what they'd buy. The jackpot grew to a record sum, since no one won the November 4 Powerball lottery draw and each one - twice a week - since then.

Patrons line up to buy Powerball lottery tickets outside the Primm Valley Casino Resorts Lotto Store just inside the California border Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, near Primm, Nev. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over 1 billion dollars for the next drawing on Wednesday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Hopeful Americans line up to buy Powerball lottery tickets. Photo: John Locher

Lottery fever really took hold last week, as the jackpot neared $US900 million, and then exploded to reach the $US1.6 billion record.

Powerball, which started in the 1990s, is played in 44 states, the District, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.​

The winning numbers in Wednesday's draw were 4-8-19-27-34, with a Powerball number 10. So before you chuck those "losers", check them one more time. You might have even gotten your money back.

The Washington Post