Everyday customers poured in and out of Best Value Food Store Monday, most unaware that it was the new home of the biggest lottery score ever in Broward County.
Saturday night's Powerball drawing yielded a single $80 million quick-pick winner, and the ticket was sold at Best Value, 1040 NW 47th Ave. in Plantation.
When a TV truck was parked outside Monday morning, store patrons were expecting anything but news of a lottery winner.
"REALLY! Someone here won $80 million?!" smiled Darius Williams. "This area needs a winner like that."
The store's milk truck driver shook his head at Williams, but then acknowledged, "Well, I guess I have to buy my tickets here now."
The store, on the Lauderdhill-Plantation border, is flanked by an apartment building in need of a paint job, a couple of brown lawns and some busted fences. Three round coolers with individual beer cans packed in ice occupy the prominent spot near check-out inside the store.
A woman stopping in to buy a newspaper remarked that "it's wonderful that someone around here has been so blessed," and two men who had just bought Cash 3 and Play 4 tickets spread uttered the joke of the day: "All I know is, it wasn't me…"
Winners have 180 days to claim their tickets (60 if they want a lump sum), and by law their names and hometowns are public record. Most keep quiet for a few days – and protect their winning ticket -- before going to Tallahassee to make their claim.
The largest jackpot won via a ticket sold in Broward County had been $47 million. The Florida Lotto ticket was sold to Germana Sodre of Hollywood and drawn May 21, 2014.
Shahriar S. Hasan was low-key about the ticket being sold at his store, even though winning Powerball ticket vendors get a cut. He'll get $45,000.
"That's about all I know," said Hasan, adding that his store has lots of lottery activity. Best Value sells about $10,500 in tickets overall per week, well above the South Florida average of $7,400 per week, according to lottery records.
But Powerball players at Best Value are rare, which makes the win here even more remarkable. Most stores sell more Powerball tickets (7 percent of total lottery sales) than Cash 3, Play 4 and Fantasy 5 (5 or 6 percent each).
Best Value, though, averages 17 percent in Cash 3 and Play 4 games, compared to only 5 percent in Powerball.
Palm Beach County's largest Lotto payout was $53 million on a ticket sold in 2000 in Jupiter. Miami-Dade County had a single $56 million winner in 2001. South Floridians have gotten a piece of larger jackpots — in 1999, a Pompano Beach man bought one of three winning tickets, splitting $81 million — but no single ticket sold in Broward has netted a prize this large.
The Florida Lottery added Powerball to its stable of games in January 2009, and this is the first winning Powerball ticket sold in Broward. One other Powerball winner, a Hollywood woman, bought her $73.8 million ticket in Royal Palm Beach in 2010.
It's the 10th winning Powerball ticket sold in Florida.