$1M winning ticket, $600M jackpot boosts sales at Pittsfield A Mart


PITTSFIELD -- Luck be an old convenience store on North Street.

On Wednesday, a million-dollar winning Powerball ticket was sold at the A Mart at 524 North St. The winner has not yet stepped forward.

Since word of the local winner spread, residents have doubled the business at the Pittsfield convenience store, buying up tickets for today's $600 million jackpot, hoping luck strikes the store twice.

"We've been seeing a lot of new faces," said Norman Poole, the night manager of A Mart. "There's been a lot of hype."

None of the tickets sold for the Powerball game Wednesday evening in the participating 44 states matched all six numbers drawn. Those with tickets that matched the first five numbers, but missed the Powerball number, won $1 million each.

There were 26 million-dollar winning tickets throughout 16 states. The only other winning ticket in Massachusetts was purchased in Andover.

"It's a surprise, period, that there was a winner out of Pittsfield," A Mart employee Brianna Dillard said. "It puts us on the map."

It was unknown which employee sold the winning ticket, but if the market find out, they will have "bragging rights," Poole said.

The winner has one year to claim his or her prize in person at the Massachusetts State Lottery office in Braintree.

"We know immediately where the ticket is sold because it's done electronically, but we don't know who it is yet," said Beth Bresnahan, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts State Lottery.

"You'd be surprised [how many wait to claim their prize]," Bresnahan added. "You get someone who's on vacation, or seeking financial advice. Some will come in with a financial adviser."

Massachusetts, like most of the 44 states that participate in the lottery, requires a person who wins more than $600 in the lottery to be publicly identified in a database.

"We're state-run agencies. This is taxpayers' money," Bresnahan said. "They want to know where the money has gone to."

The jackpot for tonight's Powerball drawing increased to $600 million on Friday. The jackpot rolls over when there isn't a winner and increases based on sales and projected sales, Bresnahan said.

At the A Mart Friday, some were hoping the store was their lucky stop, too, buying tickets for either Friday's Mega Millions -- estimated at $190 million -- or "quick-pick" Powerball tickets for $600 million, spiking regular lottery business at the store.

"We really needed it," Dillard said. "People have been so discouraged from playing the lottery lately."

One person bought 48 Powerball tickets for a company pool, but declined to comment.

Leonice Quinlan bought just one quick-pick ticket just because she was in the area.

"It only takes one to win," she said. "A million is not enough, not for me. I'd take care of my family, travel occasionally."

A Mart will receive 1 percent commission, or $10,000, for the million-dollar winning ticket sold there on Wednesday. The commission for selling the jackpot Powerball ticket is capped at $50,000, Bresnahan said.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

To reach Adam Poulisse:
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On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse


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