Florida Keys

Pennsylvania man claims $291 million Powerball ticket sold in Marathon

Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie poses Friday at lottery headquarters in Tallahassee with Powerball jackpot winner James Stocklas and his friend, Barry Bartakovits.
Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie poses Friday at lottery headquarters in Tallahassee with Powerball jackpot winner James Stocklas and his friend, Barry Bartakovits. Contributed

James Stocklas, 67, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is the winner of the Powerball lottery drawing Wednesday that had a jackpot of $291 million. He and two co-winners will split $191,470,307.58, the lump-sum payment they chose, Florida Lottery officials said.

The ticket was bought at the Tom Thumb convenience store at U.S. 1 and Sombrero Beach Road in Marathon.

Stocklas, a court judge, was on his annual Florida vacation, spending about a month fishing with close friends and relatives, lottery officials said. On Tuesday, he and the group were driving back to Pennsylvania in their RVs and stopped at the Tom Thumb store for a bag of ice and to pick up some lottery tickets.

“I occasionally play the lottery back home and when I’m in Florida,” Stocklas told lottery officials.

“I go to the same restaurant every day for breakfast and before I began drinking my coffee or reading the paper, I pulled up the news on my phone and saw a headline about a Florida Powerball winner,” Stocklas said. “I got my Powerball ticket out of my wallet to check the numbers, and sure enough, I was the jackpot winner.”

Stocklas then bought breakfast for everyone in the restaurant and called his friends and family to say, “We are going back to Florida!”

The winning numbers were 12-13-44-52-62 and the Powerball number was 6. The retailer will receive $85,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

Florida joined Powerball in 2009. Since then, there have been only two larger Sunshine State jackpot winners, a $327.8 million winner (part of a $1.5 billion jackpot that was split three ways) in Melbourne Beach on Jan. 13 and a $600 million winner on May 18, 2013, that was bought in Zephyrhills.

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