— Officials from the Pennsylvania Lottery and Sheetz today presented a commemorative check to Luther Coleman Jr., a Columbia County resident who recently purchased a jackpot-winning Pennsylvania Lottery Cash 5 ticket worth $2,488,733 for the March 8 drawing. The jackpot was the highest in the nearly 27-year history of Cash 5, the Pennsylvania Lottery’s longest-running jackpot game.
The ticket was purchased at Sheetz, 2100 W. Front St., Berwick, where Coleman, 63, is a frequent customer.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to congratulate the winner of this historic jackpot,” Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said. “This jackpot run also produced thousands of other winners across Pennsylvania, which helps the Lottery fulfill its mission of generating funds for older Pennsylvanians.”
“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. “Regular customers such as Mr. Coleman become just like family for our store teams and I know our Berwick team joins me in congratulating him on his jackpot win.”
Coleman, who has worked for more than 31 years in mechanical maintenance at the nuclear power plant in Berwick, says that he frequently plays the Pennsylvania Lottery. He plays the multistate lottery games, Powerball® and Mega Millions®, but also enjoys other Pennsylvania Lottery games, including Cash 5.
On the day the Cash 5 jackpot reached a record level, Coleman said that he made his usual stop at his favorite Sheetz and made a purchase inside the store that left him with $1 and change. Although he said he already had purchased tickets for the Cash 5 drawing that night, on a whim he stopped at the Pennsylvania Lottery machine outside the store. 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.”
Coleman said that he and his wife have plans to sell their home and move closer to their daughter, who lives in another part of Pennsylvania. He also said that he used a couple different Pennsylvania Lottery machines to verify his jackpot-winning ticket was the winner before he started to believe it was true.
“I’m looking around the store and saying something is wrong with this machine,” he said. “I rechecked it a couple more times and I said, ‘OK, this ticket has to be validated. It has to be good.’”
The Sheetz store where the winning ticket was sold earns a $10,000 bonus for selling the jackpot-winning ticket. Each of Sheetz’s 274 Pennsylvania locations offer customers Lottery terminal-based games as well as a variety of instant lottery games 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Prior to the jackpot-winning ticket being sold for the March 8 drawing, the jackpot had been growing since Friday, February 22, when a $500,000 jackpot was won by one ticket sold in Beaver County.
The previous record for the all-time high Cash 5 jackpot was $2 million. That record was first set by the drawing held January 17, 2017. Three winning tickets shared the $2 million jackpot from that drawing. The $2 million record was tied by the drawing held on Thursday, March 7, 2019 before it was surpassed the following day. More than 156,300 other Cash 5 tickets also won prizes in the historic drawing.
Cash 5 was launched as a weekly game on April 23, 1992. It became a nightly drawing in 1998. The televised drawing is conducted at 6:59 p.m., seven nights a week.
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Note: Video and audio from the event will be available for download later today in an email from the Pennsylvania Internet News Service (PINS). Register for PINS emails through firstname.lastname@example.org.