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Million-dollar winner comes forward to claim his cash prize, wants to remain anonymous

A Nicholasville man felt like a million bucks this week after he discovered the Powerball ticket he had stashed away was a  big cash prize winner.

“I stuck it in a drawer and figured I’d take care of it later,” he said. 

When he first checked the ticket, he had been out of town and was tired, so he misread the number of zeroes after the one when he looked at the scan. When he took it back to the store a couple of weeks later and rescanned it, he was in for a surprise. 

“I told my wife it was for $1 million, not $1,000 like I originally thought,” he said. “She went ballistic, and I was very happy.”

The man, who wants to remain anonymous, walked away from the Kentucky Lottery headquarters Monday morning with a check for $710,000 after taxes.

The store that sold the ticket, Circle K in Bellerive Plaza, gets $10,000.

The winner bought the ticket on Aug. 8, and for two weeks the prize went unclaimed and the winner remained a mystery.

“Maybe they’re getting their ducks in row,” consulting their lawyer or financial adviser, Jennifer Cunningham, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Lottery, said. Or it may be the winner hadn’t checked their ticket. It happens sometimes, she said, but “it’s unusual.”

When The Jessamine Journal first reported the story about the missing lottery winner, Angela Jones, an assistant manager for Circle K, said she knew the winner, but didn’t know his name. He was one of their regular customers, she mentioned, and a nice guy.

“Every time he comes in here, he buys a lottery ticket,” she remarked.

Last Tuesday, another manager, who didn’t want to give her name, said she, too, knew who it was, but she hadn’t seen him since he bought the ticket. She wasn’t concerned though that she wouldn’t see him or that he wouldn’t learn that he was a winner because he plays “religiously,” she said.

He had 180 days to claim the cash.

The $10 ticket had five lines of numbers, and he chose the quick pick option, allowing the terminal to pick the numbers. It was the last line (E) on his ticket that matched. His ticket matched the first five white ball numbers  — 2, 3, 14, 40 and 51 — but not the red Powerball number. If he had, he would have won the $158 million jackpot.

As it was, the odds of getting the five numbers to win the $1 million were only one in 11,688,054. 

But the man didn’t express any disappointment about missing the jackpot by one number, Cunningham said.

“It’s definitely going to help out my retirement when I decide to retire,” he told lottery officials. “How can you not be happy with $1 million? I’m very thankful.”

More information about the Kentucky Lottery games is available at www.kentuckylottery.com.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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