GEORGETOWN — A small crowd lingered inside the ProTravel Marathon on Success Drive on Monday afternoon, waiting to see whether the person who bought a $128.6 million Powerball ticket there on Christmas Eve would return.
One man who strolled into the shop for Scotch tape told store employees he did not realize he'd stopped at a famous store. Reporters hovered in the parking lot. And Kentucky lottery employees shared stories about past winners as regular customers hugged and congratulated the store's owner, Jack Zakir.
Zakir said his regular Georgetown customers are his friends, and he would love for one of them to be the lucky winner.
"I would be happy to have a friend win that big ticket," Zakir said.
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Sonya Durham of Georgetown walked through the door Monday and immediately hugged Zakir before asking if it was still OK for her to buy a Red Bull drink.
Zakir will get about $89,000, a small fraction of Kentucky Powerball sales, because his store sold the winning ticket. He said he plans to visit his mother in Bangladesh, whom he hasn't seen in two years, and use the rest of the money to help his business. He said he might hire more employees.
"He's the greatest guy ever, and he's my buddy," Durham said of Zakir.
The jackpot is the largest in Kentucky lottery history, lottery officials said. The winning numbers were 32, 36, 37, 41, 53; Powerball: 30. The cash option for the winning ticket is $63.4 million.
The odds of winning the grand prize were one in 195,249,054.
Before Sunday, the largest winning jackpot in Kentucky was an $89.3 million jackpot awarded in January 1996. The last Powerball winner in Kentucky was in December 2007, when a Bullitt County man claimed a $33.6 million jackpot.
This win marks the 17th time that a Kentucky player has won Powerball's top prize.
Kazi Hossain, an employee at the store, sold the winning ticket. On Monday, he said he felt "like a hero."
"I'm excited," Hossain said.
Marsha Baker of Georgetown congratulated Zakir as she sipped a cup of coffee, which she regularly buys from the store. Baker said she thinks word about who won would have spread quickly if the person were in Georgetown because it's a small community.
"It might have been somebody traveling," she said.
The Powerball ticket can be validated only at the Kentucky Lottery headquarters in Louisville, where the winner can claim the prize, said Chip Polston, vice president of communications for the Kentucky Lottery. Any retailer can check tickets, but the winner will simply be told to visit the Louisville office. The winner has six months to claim the prize.
Baker, like many others who entered the store Monday, could only imagine that the ticket belonged to her.
"I wish it was me," Baker said. "Retirement, retirement, retirement."