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Winning Cash 5 ticket sold at Scottdale business

| Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 8:15 p.m.

John Suitor said it was about the most exciting thing that ever happened in his life.

For another man, it was probably a life-changing experience.

All Aboard Express, which is located at 221 S. Broadway St. in Scottdale sold one of the two winning tickets in the May 25 drawing of the $1 million Cash 5 jackpot. John and his wife Lori are the owners of the store.

“I was just so flabbergasted,” John Suitor said. “We opened on Memorial Day for about a half a day. I was just about to close up shop and (the man who had the winning ticket) came in and told me. It was outrageous. It was so great. He seemed to have all of his ducks in a row. He was checking income taxes.”

His wife added their hearts dropped when they heard the news.

The holder of the winning ticket had not been officially identified as of June 3.

The other winning ticket was sold at the Sunoco Birdsboro Convenience Store in Berks County. Each ticket correctly matched all five balls, 16-28-30-31-42, to win individual prizes of $500,000, less 25-percent withholding.

Each retailer receives a selling bonus of $500.

Lottery officials cannot confirm the identities of the winners until the prizes are claimed and the tickets are validated. Cash 5 winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes. More than 91,600 other Cash 5 tickets won prizes of various amounts in the May 25 drawing.

“After the claim has been approved and once it is filed it takes four to six weeks to receive their payment,” said Gary Miller, lottery spokesman. “They can come here (Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County) or they can choose to pick it up at one of our area offices. Generally, if it's a big jackpot prize, we like them to come here.”

The closest area office is located on Western Avenue in Pittsburgh.

John Suitor said he doesn't know much about the man who purchased the winning ticket, but his wife has sold him lottery tickets in the past.

“I don't remember him too much,” John Suitor said. “It's the first time I sold him a ticket. We've only been selling lottery tickets for less than a year. It's pretty amazing that we've already sold a big prize like that.”

Not only has All Aboard only been selling lottery tickets for a short time, but they really haven't been opened that long.

John Suitor said the store — which he referred to as a grocery deli — has only been open for about a year and a half.

“We're so new, people don't even know where we are,” he said. “We can sure use this shot in the arm. We're really hoping, even though the prize money was a little smaller than we were anticipating, that the little extra publicity will help and build up a clientele for our lottery business.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

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