The identity of the Ohio Valley's newest millionaire remains a mystery, a day after employees of the Firehouse Marathon gas station on Wheeling Island learned they had sold someone a $1 million winning Powerball ticket.
As of press time, no one had come forward to claim the winning ticket sold at the Zane Street store Wednesday evening.
Gas station manager Amy Van Nest said she had no idea what was in store when she answered the phone Thursday morning.
Photo by Ian Hicks
Employees Bruce Higgenbotham and Roberta Masone work at the Firehouse Marathon and Drive-Thru on Wheeling Island Thursday. The store sold a Powerball ticket worth $1 million Wednesday evening.
She didn't think much of the call from a West Virginia Lottery representative at first, assuming it had something to do with scratch-off tickets.
Van Nest said she had heard her share of bad news lately, but that all changed when the voice on the other end informed her that her store had sold the $1 million ticket the night before.
"She kind of started off with small talk and asking about the weather ... and she said, 'Oh, by the way, you guys sold a $1 million Powerball ticket," Van Nest said.
Disbelief soon turned to emotion, and she began to cry.
"I was just so happy that somebody local won this ticket. ... We've sold some little ones here and there, but this is something that is just huge for us."
Lottery spokesman Randy Burnside confirmed that a $1 million winning Powerball ticket was sold in the Wheeling area Wednesday evening.
He could not confirm the location, citing Lottery policy to wait at least 24 hours before identifying retailers selling winning tickets.
Burnside said the Mountain State has experienced an unusual run of luck lately.
"It's pretty exciting for us, because it's the third $1 million ticket in the state in just one week, which is pretty impressive," Burnside said.
The other two $1 million tickets were sold in Beckley and Man. No one has claimed the ticket sold in Beckley, Burnside said.
The winning numbers from Wednesday night's drawing were 36, 44, 49, 52 and 57. The Powerball number was 1. No one won the $330 million jackpot, which will roll over to the next drawing Saturday.