Frank Cordell of Hagerstown always said he would take care of his family if he ever won the lottery. Yesterday, his family got to hold him to that promise.
Mr. Cordell, 67, claimed his $8 million winnings yesterday from a ticket he purchased at A. C. & T. Fuel Center in Washington County while buying gas July 4.
"From now on we are going to call that Financial Independence Day," he joked after receiving his ceremonial check at Maryland Lottery Headquarters in Baltimore.
Surrounded by his wife, Mary, his daughter, Cynthia, son, Michael, and Michael's wife, Cathy, Mr. Cordell said he was stunned to win the jackpot, which will give him, his wife, daughter and son $100,000 each before taxes for the next 20 years.
Mr. Cordell turns out to be a bit of an expert about that "before taxes" part. He processed tax forms for the U.S. Department of the Treasury before retiring five years ago.
"I've purchased probably about $4,000 or $5,000 worth of lottery tickets over the years," he said. "You hope, but you don't expect."
According to lottery officials, Mr. Cordell is the sixth Lotto winner from Washington County since the lottery began in 1983. Mr. Cordell became the 523rd person to strike it rich with the lottery.
While listening to the radio the day after the July 5 drawing, Mr. Cordell heard the winning numbers and realized they matched one of two Quick Pik tickets he had bought. It took him two weeks to claim his prize because he waited for his daughter to arrive from Seattle, Mr. Cordell said.
"My daughter has a family, and I needed to give her time to get here so she could be a part of this."
The entire Cordell family will benefit from the good fortune. Mr. Cordell said he will split the money among his five brothers, his two children and five grandchildren. Other than treating himself to an annual extra month playing golf in Florida, Mr. Cordell said he wants the money to go for the education and security of his family.
"I played for my family," he said. "I'm older and retired, so I don't need much."
Mr. Cordell said he may have to buy his relatives one thing.
"I'm going to have to buy them all brand-new skin," he said, laughing. "They jumped out of their skins when they realized I had won."