New Jersey family headed home from North Carolina vacation wins $2 million after stopping at Maryland 7-11

A family headed home to New Jersey from a vacation in North Carolina last month stopped for a restroom break in Maryland and wound up $2 million richer. They purchased a few snacks at a 7-Eleven in Germantown and excitedly decided to get some Lottery tickets, too.

“The cashier, for some reason, thought we wanted cigarettes,” said the mom, smiling. “She finally realized we wanted Lottery and steered us to the vending machine.” They bought Cash4LifeMega Millions and Powerball tickets. The family members, who hail from a small town in New Jersey, pocketed the Lottery games and continued their trek home.

The lucky family didn’t watch the drawings or even look at the tickets until this week. The winning mom read the numbers from the July 24 Powerball drawing, looked at her $15 ticket and saw something remarkable. Their quick-pick ticket with Power Play matched the first five numbers from that drawing: 1, 4, 11, 59 and 67. They missed the Powerball, which was 10, because the 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.”

When her husband came home, she ran out of the house, screaming.

“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, but missing the Powerball yields a $1 million second-tier win. Because the New Jersey family added the Power Play multiplier option, their prize doubled to $2 million.

The wife, a paraprofessional, nervously put the ticket in a safe place and made an appointment to claim the prize in Baltimore. The parents of three didn’t tell their youngest child about the win until they picked her up on the way to Maryland.

“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’.”

Still in shock, the family is thrilled about the $2 million win. They shared with Lottery officials that they plan to pay off debt with the prize and will save the rest.

In 2021, Maryland retailers have sold four second-tier winning Powerball tickets. Two were for $2 million and two for $1 million.

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