A new millionaire was freshly minted Tuesday morning, exactly one week after he purchased a winning Powerball ticket in Delaware City.
Delaware Lottery officials said the winner has asked to remain anonymous, but described him as a 55-year-old married father from Delaware City who purchased six tickets – including two for the Powerball game – from Delaware City Liquors on April 9.
"Every week for the past five years, I've bought two tickets each for Powerball, Multi-Win Lotto and Delaware Cash 5," the lucky winner was quoted as saying. "I always joked with the clerk [at Delaware City Liquors] that one day I was going to hit on one of these games."
That's exactly what happened Saturday, when the man's Powerball ticket became one of five in the nation to have five correct numbers without the Powerball.
Each of those ticket holders won $1 million. The other winners are in California, Indiana, Minnesota and New York.
The local winner told lottery officials Tuesday that he only checked his Powerball ticket at the urging of his son.
"My son kept telling me I need to check my tickets and I kept putting it off saying, 'I'll do it," he reportedly said. "Finally, around 9:30 p.m. [April 15], I called the Delaware Lottery's 800 number and lost my breath when I found out the news."
Ketan Patel, the manager at Delaware City Liquors, who sold the man his winning ticket said Tuesday that he's thrilled for his customer.
"It's a great feeling, knowing I helped to make someone a millionaire," said Patel, who has been working at the Clinton Street liquor store since 2000.
Patel said he has no idea who the lucky winner is, although he thinks he might have spoken with him on Monday.
"Someone did call me last night and asked what the jackpot was but they didn't say they had won," he said. "Maybe that was them."
City Manager Richard Cathcart said the town of about 1,700 residents is abuzz over who the winner might be.
"It's all people have been talking about," he said. "It's definitely exciting."
City Secretary Dawn Gwynn said she was sorry to hear the winner wasn't a relative of hers.
"I called my brother, hoping he had bought it so I could get a part of the million dollars," she said. "I just hope it goes to someone who needs it and can make good use of it."
The odds of correctly guessing the five numbers without the Powerball are about 1 in 5,153,632, which is substantially better than the odds of winning the grand prize, which is 1 in 175,223,510, according Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk.
Page 2 of 2 - "It certainly doesn't happen every week," he said of the $1 million winner being sold in Delaware. "Every ticket has the same chance of winning, but the other states have better odds of selling a winning ticket just because they sell more of them. It's a pretty big deal for Delaware. It's a pretty big deal for anyone."
The Delaware City millionaire told lottery officials he and his family are still in disbelief.
"Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with the winnings," he said. "I'm very blessed and that's all I can say."
Saturday's $70 million Powerball jackpot will now climb to $80 million for Wednesdays' drawing.