Thursday started like any other day for Levittown News & Tobacco owner Rakesh “Rocky” Raina. It was a phone call during the Fairless Hills residents morning shave that changed the course of the day.
“I was shaving when the lottery rep. called me and told me someone hit the Powerball,” he said.
His wife, Naina, said her husband did not believe the lottery representative and her supervisor followed up to confirm that a lucky customer had matched the numbers and had won the $50 million dollar prize.
The jackpot-winning Powerball ticket from Wednesday’s drawing correctly matched all five white balls, 13-17-19-27-38, and the red Powerball 12, the lottery commission said in a statement.
Store employees said no one has come in yet to claim the ticket.
Lottery officials said they cannot confirm the identity of the winner until the prize is claimed and the ticket is validated. Local Powerball winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes.
“We’re very excited to have sold this jackpot-winning Powerball ticket here in Pennsylvania,” Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci said.
Local customers buzzed around the shop Thursday afternoon talking about who may have won the life-changing sum of money.
As darkness fell, talk that an employee at nearby V & S Pizza won the prize was "a big lie," according to a pizza shop manager who answered the phone
Rocky said he believes the winner is a Fairless Hills-area customer because the size of the jackpot. He said with bigger jackpots, like last week’s nearly $500 million dollar prize, people come to his shop from, but with smaller pots, he gets mostly locals.
Customer Anne Phelps said she checked her ticket and found she was not the winner, but she declared she was happy the ticket was bought at Rocky’s store.
Nearby shop employees and regular patrons filed in and out of the store to try find out who bought the ticket, congratulate Rocky and buy more tickets.
One woman was overheard loudly saying that she hoped the store was lucky again and the ticket she had just purchased was going to be a winner.
A resident at a nearby Fairless Hills apartment complex won $100,000 in a scratch off game on Oct. 28, store employees said.
The winner of Wednesday’s Powerball drawing can choose to receive a $50 million annuity or $33,134,526.18 million cash prize.
Lottery officials announced the store will receive $100,000 of the Powerball prize.
When asked how he was planning to spend his portion of the prize money, the jubilant store owner said he planned to give money to family, friends, local fire companies, police and sports teams.
“They love me and I love them, Rocky said of the members of the community as they streamed into the store to congratulate him. “We’re like one family.”
Rocky said the $100,000 can not change his heart and who he is as a person.
Rocky and Naina opened the small shop, which employees four people, in 1995. The storefront was empty and everything had to be built from scratch, Naina said.
“I think I spend more time here than at my home,” Rocky said with a chuckle.
Just 16 jackpot-winning tickets have in sold in Pennsylvania since the state joined the Powerball, including Wednesday’s winning ticket.
Officials said the most recent full jackpot-winning ticket sold to a group of SEPTA employees in April 2012 drawing. The group split a $107.5 million cash prize. Several of the winner were from Bucks County.