CONNEAUT, Ohio - Shannon Hall was going about her job as usual Tuesday evening behind the cash register at Conneaut's TrueNorth gas station. What she didn't know was that a slow night at the lottery machine, only 29 Powerball tickets sold, produced one winning ticket instantly transitioning someone living locally into a multi-millionaire.
The prize? $124.9 million.
"It was good for them. I wish it was me," laughed Hall. "We can't buy tickets when we're on duty."
In a quickly assembled press conference held by the Ohio Lottery presenting the TrueNorth family business a check for $100,000; the take for a lottery location selling a winning Powerball ticket.
Lottery officials said the Powerball ticket was a solo winner. The ticket holder will have the prize all to themselves.
In a small town like Conneaut, word of a winning ticket spread fast. Especially after the Ohio Lottery Commission posted it on their Facebook page. Communication Director Danielle Frizzi-Babb says that helped get the word out to workers at the Conneaut location before an early morning call was made as a heads-up.
"I'm in charge of that page so I was the one who put it out there first thing this morning. We put things out on social media and right away the whole world knows," laughed Frizzi-Babb.
An enormous win like $124.9 million can change a life quickly. Frizzi-Babb said it's not something to be dealt with too quickly.
"We always tell people, you know $124 million dollars is a lot of money. Take a look at that. Look at your finances, talk to a financial expert, or an attorney, and think about exactly how you would like to claim that prize. Here in Ohio you are able to claim in a trust. So, a lot of times people do claim prizes that way and then no one knows who they are. As a matter of fact, just last month we had a classic lottery jackpot that was hit in Ashtabula and that winner just claimed that prize yesterday. It was a $73 million dollar prize, so it's feeling a little lucky out here right now," said Danielle Frizzi-Babb.
As a fourth generation TrueNorth family business owner, Bailey Lyden said he's happy to see a small town like Conneaut be part of such a big story when most of the area's attention is on Lebron James' decision to return to Ohio or not.
"I think it's really cool that a small town like this can participate in something so big. We're real thankful to our customers and TrueNorth will be recipients of a resale incentive of $100,000 paid out by the Ohio Lottery, and we're real appreciative of that," said Lyden. "We've never had a winner like this. It's above and beyond what we usually see."
For now, someone is seeing a ticket and probably still trying to catch their breath.
The Powerball jackpot is now at $40 million.