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Winning Powerball ticket excites Scott Township Shop 'n Save customers

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
A Shop 'n Save customer walks past signs announcing lottery winnings sold at the Heidelberg location, including a $1 million winner in December. Kristina Serafini | The Signal Item

The Shop ‘n Save at Raceway Plaza is getting a lot of phone calls lately.

“People are really inquisitive and wanting to find out who it is,” said Karen Andrasko, the store's front-end manager.

“It” refers to the identity of the person who bought a $1 million Powerball ticket at the Scott Township grocery store in mid-December.

While the store reported receiving plenty of attention about selling the winning ticket for the Dec. 15 drawing over the past month, the ticket's owner hadn't come forward to store employees.

“They could be walking in front of us, and we wouldn't know,” Andrasko said.

Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman Lauren Piccolo said the winning ticket was bought by Constance Closky of Upper St. Clair.

Through the lottery, Closky declined comment.

While the Pennsylvania Lottery is required to reveal winners' names and their city and county of residence, along with other information such as the game played, date of win and prize amount, winners can choose how much more publicity they want.

If they choose, they can hold a press conference or be interviewed for a story on the lottery's website along with a photo of them with their check.

“We do try to respect their win as publicly or privately as they want, whichever route they choose,” Piccolo said.

That might make even more sense in light of recent events.

A Chicago man named Urooj Khan won $1 million off a scratch-off ticket in June 2012, but he died the day after the state issued him a check for a lump-sum payment. Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina said Jan. 7 Khan died after ingesting cyanide poison, and his death was ruled a homicide.

Andrasko said former winners at the Shop n' Save had notified the store about their win, but she understood why someone might want to keep it private.

“I'm sure that whoever won (the $1 million) is going to be silent, especially nowadays,” Andrasko said.

Closky's ticket for the Dec. 15 drawing matched the five white balls drawn (15, 23, 40, 44 and 55), but missed out on the red Powerball of 14. No player won the jackpot, which amounted to $40 million.

And Closky's win was the third for the Raceway Plaza Shop ‘n Save in recent years. Andrasko said the store sold a winning Powerball ticket in the amount of $600,000 about four years ago, as well as a $65,000 winner in the Cash 5 drawing in 2011.

The store receives $5,000 for selling the latest ticket, as well as a copy of a check to post in the lobby.

Andrasko said the latest check was posted next to the Cash 5 copy, and she thinks it could cause an increase in lottery excitement at the store.

“I guess lightning really does strike more than once because it's hit twice here,” she said. “Three times, really.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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