MORGANTOWN — It was still early morning when the phone rang two weeks ago at Cottrell’s Country Store on Point Marion Road.
“I came in to make bread at 7 a.m.,” said Jacqueline “Jackie” Cottrell, the store’s manager. “I was in here by myself, and the phone rang at 7:58 and I’m like, ‘Should I answer that?’ ”
Jackie did answer, and on the other end of the line was the West Virginia Lottery, letting her know that the store had sold a million dollar Powerball ticket. As if that weren’t enough good news – vendors of winning tickets also get a cash prize – something about the winning details sounded familiar.
For years, Jackie has played the lottery with her friend and regular customer, Scott Glover. They each put in $5 and alternate playing Quick Picks on the Powerball and MegaMillions, whichever has the higher jackpot.
“We just let the machine pick the numbers. That’s just how we always did it,” Glover said.
A quick jog out to her car that Thursday morning confirmed Jackie’s hunch: they had finally won.
As soon as she had confirmation from the store’s lottery machine and the representative on the phone, Jackie was out the door to find her friend and share the good news.
“I don’t even know if I locked my store up,” she said.
“I was working, not too far. I had a roller, painting a wall,” Glover said, recalling that morning.
“She said, ‘We hit.’ and I said ‘What?’ I didn’t believe her at first,”
“He clocked out, came here, and we celebrated,” Jackie said. “He said he was shaking just trying to drive here.”
All in the family
Jackie is in the enviable position to spread the wealth a little bit, as sharing her name with the store is no coincidence. Her mother, Wilma Cottrell, is the owner of Cottrell’s Country Store and as such, collected $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.
This isn’t even the first time Lady Luck has paid a visit to the Cottrells.
“We sold a $30 million ticket back in 2004 or 2002 to a customer. We actually got $66,000 at that time after they took the taxes,” Wilma said.
“It’s a lucky little store,” Jackie said.
As news of that lucky label has spread, Cottrell’s Country Store has seen an uptick in business ranging from the merely curious, to those hoping the store’s luck will rub off on their numbers.
“I think here my daughter has been such a good advertisement for us,” Wilma said. “Most of the people that come in, that’s what they tell us, they’re glad that a local person got it.”
How to spend it
Speaking at a press conference with the West Virginia Lottery this past Tuesday, Jackie and Glover said they had no plans or expectations that the money would significantly change their lives.
“We’re pretty hardworking, deserving people, but we finally have our retirement!” Jackie said.
Even when being fiscally responsible, there’s always room for a little bit of fun.
“I am going to plan a trip to Australia,” she said, to visit her daughter who has lived there for three years. Jackie hopes to bring her two sons and her fiancé as well.
As for Wilma and the store’s share, it’s all business there, as is to be expected of a successful owner going on 30 years in business.
“First off we’re going to catch up on the bills and if we have anything left over, we’ll see from there. We need to work on our roof,” Wilma said.