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Frederick couple claims one of three $1 million Powerball prizes awarded in Maryland

Three $1-million Powerball tickets were sold in Frederick, Capitol Heights and Bladensburg

The Maryland Lottery announced late Wednesday that three $1-million Powerball tickets were sold in the state, and on Thursday one of the winners claimed their prize.

Wednesday night's Powerball drawing was for a record $1.5 billion. There were jackpot winners in Tennessee, Florida and California.

In Maryland, there were three $1 million second-tier winners, 24 $50,000 third-tier winners and one $100,000 third-tier winner who purchased the Power Play option, said Erica Palmisano, assistant director of communications for Maryland Lottery and Gaming. The $1-million winning tickets were sold at Wawa, 5440 Urbana Pike, Frederick; Walker Hill Amoco, on Walker Mill Road, Capitol Heights; and 7-Eleven, 4907 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg.

On Thursday a Frederick couple claimed their $1 million prize, lottery officials. Kathryn and Ricardo, who would not give their last names, told lottery officials they planned to use the winnings to start a college fund for their ten-month-old baby, buy a house, take a vacation and invest.

Kathryn said she was going to throw away the ticket after hearing there were no jackpot winners in Maryland when co-workers told her a $1 million ticket was sold at the Frederick Wawa, according to the Maryland lottery.

"I still can't breathe," said 34-year-old Kathryn. "I just can't believe I almost threw away the ticket."

The Frederick Wawa will receive a $2,500 bonus. Officials at the three Maryland stores could not be reached for comment.

The Powerball jackpot and lower tier prizes are paid from separate pools of money, lottery officials said. So someone could win the $1.5-billion jackpot and other prizes may still be awarded.

The mystery jackpot winners in Tennessee, Florida and California should get their affairs in order before they claim their thirds of the unprecedented $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot, lottery officials advised Thursday.

The lucky trio did not immediately identify themselves, but they bought their tickets in Munford, a town of about 6,000 in Tennessee; in the modest Los Angeles suburb of Chino Hills; and at a supermarket in Melbourne Beach, Florida, where residents of a nearby housing development were heard partying loudly after Wednesday night's drawing.

The winners of the world-record jackpot overcame odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land on all the numbers: 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10. They can let the jackpot be invested and thereby collect 30 annual payments totaling an estimated $533 million, or take their third of $983.5 million in cash all at once.

Getting such a windfall is the start of a "new journey" and the winners should be prepared with lawyers, accountants and financial planners before they come forward, California Lottery spokesman Russ Lopez said.

But they shouldn't wait too long: California gives its winners a year to contact lottery officials before the money automatically goes to schools. Winners in Tennessee and Florida must claim their winnings within 180 days.

Tribune wire reports contributed to this report.

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