March Madness has hit the PA Lottery.
This past week, Pennsylvania’s state lottery delivered three jackpots worth a combined $7.5 million. The biggest victory was a $4.15 million Match 6 ticket sold in Doylestown, Bucks County.
That ticket matched all six winning numbers (20-21-28-35-36-45) to win the massive jackpot.
The winner will remain unknown until the prize is claimed and the ticket is verified.
PA Lottery presents record-breaking Cash 5 check
In contrast, the big winner in Berwick stepped into the spotlight this week. Columbia County resident Luther Coleman Jr. received a commemorative check worth almost $2.5 million.
A Sheetz in Coleman’s hometown sold the record-breaking ticket worth $2,488,733. The jackpot was the highest in the nearly 27-year history of the game. Cash 5 is the Pennsylvania Lottery’s longest-running jackpot game.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to congratulate the winner of this historic jackpot,” Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said in the state lottery’s press release.
Coleman, who has worked at a nuclear power plant in Berwick for more than 31 years, said that he’s a frequent player of lottery games.
Lottery jackpot arrives on a whim
According to the release, on the day of the record Cash 5 contest, Coleman said he made his usual stop at Sheetz. He purchased items inside the store that left him with $1 and change.
Even though he had previously bought some tickets for the Cash 5 drawing that night, he decided to use that remaining dollar to buy another one at a machine outside the store.
Some players encountered problems with lottery machines on the day of the Cash 5 contest, but Coleman had no such trouble. He bought a $1 Quick Pick ticket that turned into the Cash 5 jackpot winner.
“When someone hears a story that I went out and bought the ticket with a $1 Quick Pick, you have to say that it can happen,” Coleman said. “My joke was that I was hoping to get my retirement package out of the machine. Lo and behold, it happened.”
Cash 5 adds to impressive total for Sheetz
The Cash 5 win was also a highlight for Sheetz, which earns a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
“This is one of the largest tickets ever sold from a Sheetz store location and continues a streak of good luck for our customers, who won over $124 million in lottery cash prizes in 2018,” said Sheetz AVP of Brand Strategies Ryan Sheetz.
Sheetz has 274 locations across Pennsylvania, each of which offers customers lottery-based terminal games and a number of instant lottery options as well.
Philly’s million-dollar Powerball ticket
Another big lottery win arrived near Philadelphia, at the ShopRite in Roxborough.
The ticket correctly matched all five white balls drawn in the March 16 contest (30-34-39-53-67). However, the ticket missed the red Powerball 11. That was still good enough to net $1 million less applicable withholding.
The winner, who is still unknown, will have one year from the drawing date to claim the prize. Lottery players are reminded to check every ticket, every time.
One easy way to chek your draw games tickets is to down the PA online lottery mobile app. One of its many features is a ticket scanner.
Jackpot wins provide bright spot for PA Lottery
The trio of jackpots provides some positive public relations for a PA Lottery system facing a great deal of pressure.
The state lottery, which funnels all of its proceeds to programs that support the state’s older residents, is navigating a new ruling by the US Justice Department. Said ruling redefines the scope of the federal Wire Act. That ruling has raised concerns about the lottery’s interstate backup system in Georgia.
The lottery’s revenue projections were also a point of contention at a recent meeting for the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee. Some members of the committee worried the lottery’s expectations were overly optimistic, which could create budget shortfalls in the future.
Those issues will certainly be addressed at a later date. For now, the lottery – and its players – can soak up the sunshine provided by these big wins.