Occasionally, New Jersey lottery officials highlight some of the winners of their smaller jackpots. As the next drawing of the multi-state Powerball pot grows to an estimated $435 million, with a cash value of $273.1 million, making it the 8th largest in the game’s history, the state also shed some light on some winners who took home a piece of the action as the jackpot ballooned.
The Feb. 18 Powerball drawing created one new millionaire and four $50,000 prizewinners in New Jersey; Joseph Shafto Jr. of Brick, was one of the $50,000 prize claimants. He typically wagers a few dollars playing Mega Millions and Powerball. Coincidentally, the da Shafto bought his $2 single-board Quick Pick Powerball ticket on the Thursday before the drawing, he joked with his fiancée and her mother over lunch about what he would do if the ticket was a winner.
That Sunday, Shafto checked his ticket and realized that he had won $50,000.
“He knew that it was his turn to smile,” lottery spokeswoman Judith Drucker said.
Shafto plans to use this money to pay off some bills and to provide tuition funds. His lucky retailer is Wine World, located at 2085 Route 88 in Brick.
The next Powerball drawing will be on Saturday.