From the Maryland Lottery:
(Baltimore) – Almerta Williams knows she needs reading glasses. But the 55-year old Edgewood woman isn’t getting them any time soon. That’s because her poor vision led to her title as Maryland’s newest millionaire.
When purchasing Powerball tickets yesterday for the record-setting $587.5 million jackpot, Almerta had trouble seeing the playslip. “I thought I played the numbers that matched the birthdays of my family, but accidentally filled in a wrong number,” she said.
Almerta and her family recounted the story to Lottery officials. “I incorrectly counted the zeroes and told my mom she had won $200,000,” said her daughter Brandie. “My brother said to check again and that’s when we realized it was actually $2 million!” They proceeded to call family members, including Williams’ other daughter who showed up at the house in her pajamas.
The visibly nervous Williams said she couldn’t wait to come in and claim her winnings. “I had trouble sleeping because I kept thinking I didn’t want to lose the ticket,” she said. “I slept with my purse!”
Williams, who plans to continue working as a custodian, has big plans for her Powerball winnings. “I’m going to buy a new house and an 80-inch TV,” she said. “I’ll also set aside money for my kids and grandkids, but I’m getting that TV!”
The lucky winner added the Power Play option for an extra dollar, which is how her second-tier prize doubled from $1 million to $2 million. The winning ticket was purchased at Herb’s Deli and Spirits in Edgewood.
Since its inception in 1973, the Maryland Lottery has awarded more than $19.8 billion in prizes to players and $12.8 billion in revenue to the State of Maryland. One of Maryland’s largest revenue sources, the Lottery supports important state programs and services including education, public safety and health, human resources and the environment. For more information, go to mdlottery.com.
from left to right: Sharonda Harden (niece), Shawnice Perry (daughter), Almerta Williams (winner) and Brandi Thomison (daughter)