Watertown Store Owners On Powerball Blunder: ‘Better Than Nothing’

WATERTOWN (CBS) – The owners of a Watertown store had a wild and emotional ride of ecstatic highs and crushing lows Thursday morning.

Kamaljeet Kaur and her family were woken up around 5 a.m. when they got a phone call that the winning $758.7 million Powerball ticket was sold at their store Handy Variety in Watertown.

owner Watertown Store Owners On Powerball Blunder: ‘Better Than Nothing’

Kamaljeet Kaur, one of the owners of Handy Variety in Watertown. (WBZ-TV)

When Kaur and her father-in-law came to open the shop on Common Street just after 6 a.m. there was a huge crowd of reporters and cameras waiting for them.

Kaur said she was thrilled to be the “lucky store,” which would have resulted in a payout of $50,000 for selling the winning ticket.

watertown2 Watertown Store Owners On Powerball Blunder: ‘Better Than Nothing’

Kamaljeet Kaur’s father-in-law celebrated with reporters before the lottery announced its mistake. (WBZ-TV)

Then, just before 8 a.m., the Massachusetts State Lottery announced they made a mistake – the winning ticket was sold at a gas station in Chicopee, not at Handy Variety.

The lottery said one $1 million winning Powerball ticket was sold at Kaur’s store, so they will only get about $10,000.

Reporters broke the news to Kaur, who said she was “still happy,” but also “a little sad.” She was glad they helped one person become a million dollars richer.

“Better than nothing, right?” she said as news crews headed out to Chicopee.

Store co-owner Sonny Singh says it’s disappointing.

“I was so excited. They just kept on calling me,” Singh said. “I walked in and they told me it’s not the big one, it’s the million dollar hit.”

“It would have been better, but you know, a million, that’s fine,” Singh said.

Related: Mass. Lottery’s ‘Steve Harvey Moment

Michael Sweeney, the executive Director of the Massachusetts Lottery, took the hit for the error.

“Human error, plain and simple,” Sweeney told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “If anyone’s looking for anyone to blame, the buck stops here with me, the executive director.”

Kaur said someone also won $1 million in a scratch lottery ticket at Handy Variety about eight years ago.

The family has owned the store for 11 years.

Neighbors say that because winners have been sold there several times, “It’s still their lucky store.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports

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