Entries in Powerball (18)


Powerball Jackpot Set at $300 Million for Saturday Drawing

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The odds of picking the winning Powerball ticket might be one in 175.2 million, but that doesn't stop jackpot junkies across the country from employing their own superstitious tactics in hopes of matching the six lucky numbers.

With the Powerball drawing set at $300 million Saturday evening, thousands of lottery players are hoping luck is on their side when it comes to holding the golden ticket.

Both lottery officials and mathematicians said every Powerball ticket has the same chance of winning.

Still, jackpot-hopefuls have cited selection strategies like using the birthdates of loved ones or putting their fortune in the hands of a Quick Pick drawing to be crowned the game's newest multi-millionaire.

Nearly 80 percent of all ticket buyers let the computer do the picking, and with good reason – more Powerball winners have relied on randomization to ensure their success.

The multi-state lottery's most recent winner, 84-year-old Gloria C. Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla., took home the whopping $590 million jackpot in June thanks to computer-generated numbers.

"While in line at Publix another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket," she said in a statement, according to Florida lottery officials.

Mackenzie opted for the lump sum cash payout of $370.8 million before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19 million, according to lottery spokeswoman Cynthia O'Connell.

As the prize skyrockets to astronomical possibilities, aspiring millionaires might turn to drastic measures to up the ante.

Some players tempt fate by crossing state borders to purchase a ticket from a so-called luckier location, lining up at gas stations and convenience stores where winning tickets have been drawn in the past.

But even though Indiana may hold the record for the most Powerball jackpots – coming in at a whopping 38 – and Pennsylvania, Missouri, Minnesota and Kentucky round out the top five, it's not worth the extra gas.

These states have merely been playing the multi-state lottery the longest.

While Californians might despair that no winning ticket has been drawn there, there's always a chance this time around. Residents were able to buy their first in-state tickets in April after California's lottery commission voted unanimously to join the Powerball game last November.

Looking for a lucky day of the week to win?

Although 60 percent of past winners bought their tickets on the day of the drawing, experts say there's no tell-tale sign that a purchase on the day of the drawing will make you a winner, as ticket sales tend to spike on the day of the drawing and especially within the final hours of sales.

If you're counting down the hours until Saturday's drawing, keep calm. If you've picked a winner, you're only six numbers away from millions of dollars and a media frenzy to boot.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Winning Powerball Ticket Worth $590 Million Sold in Florida

Scott Olson/Getty Images(ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla.) -- A single ticket matching all the numbers in Saturday's $590.5 million Powerball drawing was sold at a Zephyrhills, Fla., grocery store, according to lottery officials.

The winning numbers in Saturday's drawing were 10, 13, 14, 22, 52, and a Powerball of 11.

The identity of the lucky ticket holder was not immediately known. Florida Lottery officials did not indicate whether anyone had come forward to claim the jackpot yet.

Earlier estimates had put the jackpot at $600 million, however the Powerball website reflected at adjusted total of $590.5 million, still the largest jackpot in the game's history.

The previous record for a Powerball jackpot was $587.5 million on Nov. 28, 2012.

The odds of winning the top jackpot was 1 in 175.2 million.

Lottery officials said 80 percent of the possible combinations had been purchased, making it likely a ticket would match all five numbers and the winning Powerball.

The person or group holding the ticket will have to decide whether to take an annuity or the lump sum, which comes out to $370,896,780.54.

While there was only one grand prize winner, 31 tickets matched all five numbers, earning those lucky ticket holders a prize of $1 million each. Two tickets sold in New York and South Carolina were Power Play winners worth $2 million each, according to Powerball officials.

In the one month since California joined the list of 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands in playing, Powerball fever has swept across the Golden State and played a part in helping the jackpot swell to a record level, lottery officials said.

The country's most populous state became one of the top ticket sellers, alongside Florida and New York. Lottery officials said total ticket sales had hit $464 million for Saturday's historic drawing.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


$1M Powerball Winners Share the Wealth with Coworker

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(PLANTATION, Fla.) -- When Jennifer Maldonado went to work on Sunday at Keller Williams Partner Realty in Plantation, Fla., she was greeted with hooting and hollering.

That’s because on Saturday night, her 12 colleagues who’d gotten together for a Powerball office pool had won $1 million.

Maldonado thought it was a joke — “100 percent, thought it was a prank,” she told ABC News.

Recently hired as an administrative assistant and having not received her first paycheck, she’d opted not to participate in the $20 pool.

Laurie Finkelstein-Reader, who runs the office and organized the pool, even offered to lend her the money, but she’d declined.

“I wasn’t going to press her,” Finkelstein-Reader said. “I said to her: ‘If you don’t play, we’re going to win.’”

And win they did. One of the realty office’s tickets matched five of the winning numbers.

A man in New Jersey, however, won the $338 million jackpot by matching the five numbers as well as the Powerball number.

Maldonado’s co-workers will take home $83,000 after taxes — and each of them has agreed to give her a portion of their winnings.

She would only say that she was receiving a “gracious amount.”

“Enough that I’m floored and feel so appreciative,” Maldonado said.

The group said it was the right thing to do and that co-workers are like family.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Powerball Jackpot Totals $320 Million

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Just because your March Madness bracket is busted doesn't mean you should stop pressing your luck.

There's still time to purchase a ticket for Saturday night's Powerball lottery drawing and the chance to win $320 million.

An additional $60 million was added to the pot following a drawing on Wednesday when no one in the 44 states where tickets are sold had a winning ticket.

There is a 1 in 175,223,510 chance of winning the jackpot, according to the website of the Multi-State Lottery Association. But, there's a 1 in 31.85 chance that a ticket holder could win something, including the smallest prize of $4.

The pot is technically $320 million, but has a cash value after taxes of $193.8 million, according to the association.

Though sizable, Saturday night's pot pales in comparison with last year's $588 million Powerball jackpot.

The largest jackpot ever, totaling $656 million, was offered last March, when three people split the winnings from the Mega Millions lottery.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Costco Co-Workers Split $50M Powerball Win

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WALTHAM, Mass.) -- The Massachusetts Lottery confirmed two Costco co-workers are the winners of a $50 million Powerball prize.

According to lottery officials, 52-year-old Rosa DeLeon and 54-year-old Reginald LeBlanc, who work at the Costco in Waltham, Mass., bought the winning ticket to Wednesday’s jackpot.

The Boston Globe reports that over the past 10 months, DeLeon would regularly buy two Powerball tickets, write their names on the back, and give LeBlanc a copy.

On Thursday, her weekly purchases paid off.

The two appeared at a news conference at state lottery headquarters to accept a $33 million lump-sum payment, which comes to $23.1 million after taxes.

The winning ticket, sold at a Shell gas station in Lexington, Mass., had the numbers 8-10-25-36-44, and a Powerball of 28.

“About a year ago we sold a $1 million ticket. Not a $50 million, but still pretty good,” Shell store manager Adam Muise told ABC News.

Muise says LeBlanc came into his store this morning with the winning ticket, somewhat in shock.

“He walked in and he stood off to the side and didn’t really say anything,” Muise said. “We asked if he needed help with anything and continued to talk about someone winning, and he calmly said, ‘I won.’ He had a copy of the winning ticket.”

Muise said his fellow store workers congratulated LeBlanc, who said he was waiting for the friend with whom he was splitting the money.

The lucky store location, which sold a $1 million winning scratch-off ticket last year, will receive a $50,000 commission for selling the ticket.

“I hope that people feel that we’re lucky and come in and buy some lottery tickets and some more Powerball, and help our sales out over here,” Muise said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Comes to California

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Less than 24 hours after the winning Powerball lottery numbers were announced, California’s five-member lottery commission voted unanimously on Thursday to bring the Powerball jackpot to the state.

“We have to continually offer our loyal players a variety of entertaining lottery games, and we firmly believe that Powerball is a right fit for the California Lottery,” state lottery director Robert T. O’Neill said in a prepared statement. “I expect Powerball to add anywhere between 50 to 100 million additional dollars to supplement public education funding, which is our one and only mission. Plus, our customers were pretty clear that they wanted us to bring Powerball to California.”

Lottery spokesman Elias Dominguez told ABC News that the California Lottery Commission had been considering the move long before this month’s record $587 million jackpot.

“We’ve been discussing joining Powerball for over a year now,” said Dominguez. “But when Powerball went from $1 to $2, it put plans to join on hold.”

“We had to step back and see how it would affect sales for Powerball for other states,” he said.

Dominguez said the commission also had to consider how it would affect the state’s Mega Millions and Super Lotto Plus games.

California’s first Powerball sales will begin on April 8, 2013, with the first draw scheduled for April 10, 2013.

California will be the 43rd state to adopt Powerball.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Head: ‘I’m Not Much of a Gambler’

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Wednesday, one lucky Powerball player could go from rags to riches.  Meanwhile, the man who heads the lottery is thinking about what comes next.

Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, or MUSL, said Wednesday’s Powerball was the sixth game change, and they’re happy with the results so far.

“We knew we needed to do something a little different,” Strutt told ABC News.

One of the recent changes includes eliminating red ball numbers 36 through 39.

“Sorry if they were your favorite red ball numbers, but the game is now easier to win,” MUSL’s Powerball website says.  “The odds of hitting the jackpot drop from 1 in 195 million to 1 in 175 million.”

Strutt said his team goes through a myriad of ideas submitted by the 33 lottery member organizations across the country before they find the right one.  One of the flops included a variable price game, where as the price of the ticket went up, the check for the winnings also increased.

Strutt -- who joked he hadn’t learned his multiplication tables until he had been a journalist, a humor columnist and earned a law degree -- said predictive math showed this version “had the best chance of success” with customers.

Now, he is looking for something new to add to the game of fortune.

“That’s always the challenge,” Strutt said.  “Last year almost every lottery had a record year…It’s a big smile and it’s very happy to see a record year.”  

But he said he’s always thinking, “What am I going to do next year?”

For inspiration, Strutt looks to related industries.  That means hitting the casinos on the Las Vegas strip.  But Strutt said he enjoys the restaurants more than the betting on those business trips.

“Believe it or not, I’m really not much of a gambler,” he said.  “Drop $20 in a slot machine and just be amazed how fast it’s gone.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Jackpot at Record $425M and Growing

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball drawing now stands at $425 million -- the richest Powerball pot ever -- and it's likely to get even sweeter.

"Back in January, we moved Powerball from being a $1 game to $2," says Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa lottery.  "We thought at the time that this would mean bigger and faster-growing jackpots."

And it's proved true.  The total, she says, "has been taking huge jumps -- another $100 million since Saturday."  (The most recent drawing, on Saturday night, produced no winning numbers.)

Until now, the biggest Powerball pot on record -- $365 million -- was won in 2006 by eight Lincoln, Neb., co-workers.

Lottery officials in Iowa, where Powerball is headquartered, have started getting phone calls from all around the world.

"When it gets this big," says Neubauer, "we start getting inquiries from Canada and Europe from people wanting to know if they can buy a ticket.  They ask if they can FedEx us the money."

The answer she has to give them, she says, is: "Sorry, no.  You have to buy a ticket in a member state from a licensed retail location."

Asked if there's anything players can do to improve their odds of winning, Neubauer says no -- apart from buying a ticket, of course.

Lottery officials put the odds of winning Wednesday's Powerball pot at one in 175 million, meaning you are 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Illinois Chaplain Finds $1M Powerball Ticket in Desk

Illinois Lottery(NEW YORK) -- A retired chaplain in Illinois found a $1 million winning lottery ticket when he was cleaning his desk, two months after the winning numbers were announced.

Ron Yurcus of Glen Ellyn, Ill., said he doesn’t usually buy lottery tickets.

“Occasionally while I buy gas, if the [lottery] prize is higher, I’ll buy one or two tickets,” Yurcus, 68, said.

Yurcus, a retired hospice chaplain, said he had accumulated about 12 tickets within two months, but didn’t check to see if any were winners until a few weeks ago.

“I bought them and never really rush home and check numbers right away.  I throw them in a pile,” he said.

When he was cleaning his desk, which he called “a cluttered mess,” he sifted through his pile of tickets and was pleasantly surprised to learn he not only had a couple tickets that won $2 but a $1 million Powerball prize from the Aug. 22 drawing.

“When I went to the payoff page and saw $1 million, I wanted to scream but no one was home,” he said, adding that he checked the number about 25 times that night and asked his wife, a school secretary, to re-check the numbers once she returned home.

Yurcus used to be self-employed with a print shop in addition to serving at the hospice, before retiring on Nov. 2.

“I don’t really have a retirement package put together.  This is my retirement,” he said.  

He and his wife are also active with charitable causes.  He said he will use some winnings to support his three children and four grandchildren.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Winning Powerball Ticket Sold in Michigan

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A ticket sold in Michigan matched all five numbers, including the Powerball, to win the jackpot estimated at $337 million, according to

Andi Brancato, a Michigan lottery spokesman, tells ABC News Radio that the winning ticket was sold at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer, Mich.  There is no word yet on the identity of the lucky winner.

Wednesday night's winning numbers were 6, 27, 46, 51, 56 and the Powerball was 21.

"We had the single winning ticket sold in Michigan.  It was sold in Lapeer at a gas station there.  So we are waiting now to hear from the winner.  That could happen at any time," said Brancato.

There was also one Match 5 winner in Nebraska that won $2 million and seven Match 5 winning tickets in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia that won $1 million.

It was the third largest Powerball jackpot in the lottery's history, according to Brancato.  The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million and the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 31, according to

The national drawing is held in 42 states, including the District of Columbia.  No one has won the big Powerball prize since June 23, when a couple from Connecticut won $60 million.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio