Point Breeze shop sold winning Powerball ticket

Gary Patel at his Federal Beer store in Point Breeze. Patel was a winner, too: He will get a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning Powerball ticket.
Gary Patel at his Federal Beer store in Point Breeze. Patel was a winner, too: He will get a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning Powerball ticket. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 25, 2013

In the eight years that Gary Patel has been selling lottery tickets at his Point Breeze beer shop, no one had ever hit the big time.

In fact, no one who ever played the Daily Number or the Cash 5 or even a lowly scratch-off ticket at Federal Beer had ever won anything above $10,000.

Then, on Sunday, a representative from the Pennsylvania Lottery stopped by to perform what he called a routine check on Patel's lottery machine.

And an hour later, Patel was fielding call after call from local news outlets: His shop on the corner of 15th and Federal Streets had sold the winning Powerball ticket, worth $131.5 million.

On Sunday afternoon, Patel was still selling beer, cigarettes, and - of course - lottery tickets from behind the bulletproof glass that protects the counter at Federal Beer. Outside, neighborhood residents marveled at the win - and hoped one of their own had snagged the jackpot.

"I play there all the time; I've got a whole bunch [of lottery tickets] at home I haven't looked at," said Jimmy Greene of Pennsport. "I just don't know if I'm the one."

Across the street, Michael Henry watched news vans drive down Federal Street to cluster outside Patel's shop.

"I've never bought a ticket there," he said, "but I'm thinking about going now."

Only a single winning ticket was sold in Saturday's drawing - with the numbers 13-19-23-33-57, and the red Powerball 28, lottery officials said Sunday on Facebook.

It's still unknown who bought the ticket, but Patel hopes it was one of his regular customers. Not many buy tickets. Most just focus on the cases of beer stacked high throughout the store, he said.

The customer's win is Patel's win, as well.

As the ticket retailer, he will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. He plans to distribute the money among his three employees and put the rest into a college fund for his 5-month-old twins.

He'll put aside some, he said, for a trip to Disney World once the children, a boy and a girl, can walk.

"They're my world," he said.

For a small beer distributor in a small neighborhood, the win means a lot, and hopefully, Patel said, someone from down the block or around the corner will reap its benefits.

"The neighborhood people - they're the ones that give me business," he said. "And that's a lot of money. It can change a lot of people's lives."


Contact Aubrey Whelan

at 610-313-8112, awhelan@philly.com, or follow on Twitter @aubreyjwhelan.

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