Weirton Man Wins $1 Million Powerball® Prize

WHEELING, W.Va. – West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave introduced Hartzell “John” Lancaster of Weirton as the state’s latest Powerball® $1 million dollar winner at a press conference Thursday at the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

Lancaster matched five numbers for the May 17, 2014, Powerball® drawing. Those numbers were 23-32-39-47-49 and the Powerball was 22.

Lancaster purchased his lucky ticket at the Convenient Food Mart on Pennsylvania Avenue in Weirton. He bought five plays, something that he says he does for every Powerball® drawing.

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out. I must have been as white as a ghost,” Lancaster said. “I did not realize I had the ticket until I went to the store the next day to buy my five plays for the next drawing and the clerk told me they had a $1 million winner for the last draw and I should check my tickets. I went home and looked at it, checked it number by number, and could not believe it. My wife did not believe me and one of my daughters went online to double check it. It was unbelievable.”

Lancaster owns a small business just down the street from the Convenient Food Mart where he bought this match-5 ticket.

He was joined at the press conference by his wife, Gloria, and their family.

“I am going to use the money to take care of my immediate family and then put some back for retirement,” Lancaster said. “I have played Powerball for years and I already have my tickets for Saturday too.”

This most recent ticket is the 10th ticket from the Multi-State Lottery games of Powerball® and Mega Millions® to be sold in West Virginia this calendar year worth $1 million or more. That figure is a record for the state that eclipses the previous high of five that was set just last year.

While odds of winning do not change based on location, the probability of winning a prize of a million or more from these popular games is better in West Virginia than anywhere in the country so far in 2014. With a population of only 1.8 million, West Virginia is producing one million-dollar plus winner per every 185,440 people in the state.

In addition to the nine that were sold and claimed already, the West Virginia Lottery is still waiting on someone to claim another $1 million prize from the February 12, 2014, Powerball® drawing that was sold in Wheeling. Under state law, players have 180 days from the date of a drawing to claim a prize or the ticket expires.