The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 19, 2014

Who’s the big winner is the $73.3M question

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — For a business named Grumpy Grandpa’s, big smiles have been plentiful the past several days.

The store at 3300 State Road in Ashtabula Township is still reeling from the news it sold the one Classic Lotto jackpot that earned its owner $73.3 million on Saturday. It seems a lot of people want to visit the store that sold The Ticket.

“Sales have been a little bit better,” Cam Tran, a store spokesperson, said Wednesday. “There’s been quite the good buzz for the store because we got a big winner. We’re excited.”

She learned about Grumpy Grandpa’s role early Sunday morning. A friend contacted her via social media around 2:30 a.m. Sunday to report the Ohio Lottery Commission was broadcasting the news.

The store earned $1,000 for selling the ticket, Tran said.

Many customers have asked to play the same Classic Lotto game that produced the weekend jackpot, Tran said, apparently thinking lightning could strike twice. Store staff have also been constantly peppered with questions from customers about the identity of the winner, she said. There have been no shortage of rumors, Tran said.

“Everybody wants to know,” she said.

So does the Ohio Lottery Commission. As of Wednesday morning, the winner hadn’t stepped forward — and if tradition holds, the lucky person or persons may stay in the shadows for awhile. Winners have a full six months to claim their prizes, and people who collect a big chunk of cash sometimes confer with attorneys and accountants before redeeming the ticket, Danielle Frizzi-Babb, lottery commission spokeswoman, said Wednesday.

Even when the winner comes forward little may be revealed to the public. All players have the right to remain anonymous if they choose, Frizzi-Babb said.

This much is known: The $73.3 million Classic Lotto jackpot is the largest haul since the game was launched in 2007, she said.

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