Entries in Powerball (20)


California Key to Massive Powerball Jackpot

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the countdown ticks on to Saturday night's record Powerball drawing, the jackpot has swollen to over $600 million, largely due to California's participation in the game, lottery officials said.

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.

California, the country's most populous state, has skyrocketed to the top three states in terms of ticket sales, alongside Florida and New York, according to lottery officials.

"Once California joined the Powerball family, we helped change the dynamics to this game because of the mere size of the state and the number of players that we have," a California lottery spokesperson told ABC News.

The size of the jackpot has created a frenzy that has also driven ticket sales, according to lottery officials. The previous record for a Powerball jackpot was $587.5 million on Nov. 28, 2012.

Tickets sold at a rate of 600,000 per hour in New York on Friday, New York lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Hapeman told ABC News.

It's expected that tickets will continue to sell at a rapid rate until the 10 p.m. ET cut-off time Saturday night. The winning numbers will be drawn at 10:50 p.m. ET, perhaps minting a few new millionaires.

However, if no one matches all five numbers plus the Powerball, the jackpot will continue to balloon.

Kelly Cripe, media director for the Texas Lottery, which is one of the states in the Powerball lottery, said the next drawing would be May 22 and estimated the pot would be at least an astonishing $925 million. The frenzy of such a massive jackpot would likely push it even closer to $1 billion.

The odds of winning the grand prize are one in 175,223,510, according to the Powerball website.

While Saturday's jackpot is a Powerball record, it's not the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. That honor belongs to the Mega Millions, which paid out a record $656 million on March 30, 2012.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


NJ Gas Station Manager Says He Sold Winning Powerball Ticket

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(BORDENTOWN, N.J.) -- The single Powerball ticket sold in New Jersey that matched all six numbers in Saturday night's $338.3 million jackpot drawing was sold at a popular truck stop close to the New Jersey Turnpike, according to the store's manager.

The manager of Love's Travel Stops & Country Store in Bordentown, N.J., said he was in the process of changing shifts when he received a call from a happy driver claiming to have the winning ticket.

"Upon listening to his voice he did sound happy, kind of like a relief like he wouldn't have to work as hard and nice to hear that for someone," store manager Isaiah DeVries told ABC News early this morning.

DeVries says the ticket was most likely sold to a regular.

"I'm sure if I were to see his face I would recognize him. He claimed to be a usual here in the store," DeVries said.

Lottery officials are expected to hold a press conference later Monday to officially announce the location of where the winning ticket was sold.

Love's is a popular stop for many truck drivers passing through the Garden State. Eric Johnson has been a truck driver for five years, and realizes he was in the right spot but just didn't have the right numbers.

"I wish it was me. I'm happy for him, but I wish it was me. Being a truck driver is hard," Johnson said.

If the winner takes the lump sum of $211 million, that person could afford 105 private submarines, 24 Caribbean islands and 17 vintage Ferrari Testa Rossas.

People at Love's had been dreaming big for days leading up to the drawing, but only one man will be driving off into the sunset a millionaire.

"Shucks it wasn't me, but congrats for him. Pretty happy for him," DeVries said.

In case you were wondering, the winning numbers were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31.

The price of a Powerball ticket doubled in January 2012 from $1 a game to $2, which has accounted for the swelling jackpots.

"We redesigned the game and with more money going into the game, the jackpot prize pool has doubled so more people are playing because the jackpot is growing higher," Multi-State Lottery Association President Jim Haynes said.

Powerball is offered in 44 states and your chances of striking it rich are one in 175,000,000, meaning you'd have been 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award.

After all, dreaming big is part of the Powerball fun, even for the more than 80 million people whose tickets are now worthless.

"For $2, it's inexpensive entertainment and you can buy a part of the dream," Haynes said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Winning $338 Million Powerball Jackpot Ticket Sold in New Jersey

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- A single Powerball ticket sold in New Jersey matched all six numbers in Saturday night’s drawing, meaning some lucky Jersey resident has won the sixth largest jackpot in history.

No real details about the person who purchased the ticket and won the $338.3 million jackpot have been released, but officials at the New Jersey State Lottery said more would be revealed on Monday.

If the winner chooses to take the lump sum payout, he or she will receive $221 million.

In addition to the win in Jersey, thirteen other tickets matched five numbers but were missing the Powerball. Those tickets will earn a payout of $1 million each, according to lottery officials. They were sold in New Jersey, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

One Power Play Match 5 winning ticket sold in Iowa, worth $2 million.

The winning numbers were 17, 19, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31.

The jackpot has been reset to $40 million.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Defense Worker Buys $217 Million Winning Lotto Ticket

Courtesy of Virginia Lottery(FREDERICKSBURG, Va.) -- A Virginia husband and wife won the $217 million Powerball jackpot, the second-largest lotto prize ever won in the state.

Dave and Nancy Honeywell of Fredericksburg, Va., both work for the Defense Department.

Dave Honeywell, a computer scientist, bought the winning ticket at one of Richmond International Airport’s Lottery Express stations when he left for a business trip to Denver on Feb. 6.

His winning numbers were 5-27-36-38-41, chosen randomly through Easy Pick’s computer system. His prize is the state’s first Powerball jackpot win, the Virginia Lottery said.

According to the Virginia Lottery, Honeywell said that he plans to continue working.

After the prize was awarded, the Honeywells declined to comment further to the media.

On Valentine’s Day, he and his wife, a project manager, received a giant check at the spot where he bought the ticket. They chose the one-time cash option of $136.4 million before taxes.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Missouri Powerball Jackpot Winner to Come Forward

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the two winners of the record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot will be announced at a news conference on Friday, according to Missouri Lottery officials.

The Missouri ticket was sold at the only gas station in the tiny town of Dearborn, which has a population of 496.  Many residents there hope the new multi-millionaire is a neighbor that understands the needs of the small farming town and will be able to help invest in the community that has been ravaged by a drought this past summer.

The other winning ticket was sold in Arizona at the 4 Sons Market, a convenience store in Fountain Hills, a suburb of Phoenix.  The winner has not yet come forward, and lottery officials will only say that the ticket was sold sometime Wednesday.  

Officials apparently know exactly when the ticket was sold, but are reluctant to release that information because they don’t want people reviewing the convenience store’s surveillance cameras to learn who the winner might be.

Both winners will split the big prize, which comes to $293.75 million apiece.  If they decide to take the cash payout, they will each receive $192.875 million before taxes.

The Multi-State Lottery Association says Wednesday night’s drawing also produced 58 $1 million winning tickets and eight $2 million tickets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Winning Tickets for Powerball Jackpot Sold in Arizona, Missouri

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Winning tickets for the record Powerball jackpot worth more than $587 million were purchased in Arizona and Missouri.

Missouri Lottery official Susan Goedde confirmed to ABC News Thursday morning that one of the winning tickets was purchased in the state, but they would not be announcing a town until later Thursday morning. 

Powerball's website reports the other winning ticket was purchased in Arizona.

Arizona lottery officials said they had no information on that state's winner or winners but would announce where it was sold during a news conference later in the day.

The winning numbers for the jackpot were 5, 23, 16, 22 and 29.  The Powerball was 6. 

Before the numbers were drawn on Wednesday, the jackpot swelled to $587.5 million, according to lottery official Sue Dooley.  The two winners will split the jackpot each getting $293.75 million.  The cash payout is $192.5 million each.

An additional 8,924,123 players won smaller prizes, according to Powerball's website.

"There were 58 winners of $1 million and there were eight winners of $2 million.  So a total of $74 million," said Chuck Strutt, Director of the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Hopeful players bought tickets at the rate of 131,000 every minute up until an hour before the deadline of 11 p.m. ET, according to lottery officials.

The jackpot had already rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner.  That fact, plus the doubling in price of a Powerball ticket, accounted for the unprecedented richness of the pot.

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

That proved true.  The total, she said, began taking "huge jumps -- another $100 million since Saturday."  It then jumped another $50 million.

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

Lottery officials put the odds of winning the $587.5 million Powerball pot at one in 175 million, meaning you'd have been 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Winning Numbers Announced for Record $579M Jackpot

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- 5-23-16-22-29-Powerball 6: Those are the winning numbers for a $579 million Powerball jackpot -- the biggest in history.

After a feverish day that saw hopeful players buying tickets at the rate of 131,000 every minute, lottery officials in Orlando, Fla., drew the winning sequence shortly after 11 p.m.

The results likely will be announced sometime after 2 a.m. Thursday morning.

Identifying the winner, however, could take days -- if there is a winner.

A prior drawing last Saturday night produced no winner. That fact, plus the doubling in price of a Powerball ticket, accounted for the unprecedented richness of the pot.

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

That proved true. The total, she said, began taking "huge jumps -- another $100 million since Saturday." It then jumped another $50 million.


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

As the latest pot swelled, lottery officials said they began getting phone calls from all around the world.

"When it gets this big," said Neubauer, "we get 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 said, is: "Sorry, no. You have to buy a ticket in a member state from a licensed retail location."

About 80 percent of players don't choose their own Powerball number, opting instead for a computer-generated one.

Asked if there's anything a player can do to improve his or her odds of winning, Neubauer said there isn't -- apart from buying a ticket, of course.

Lottery officials put the odds of winning the $579 Powerball pot at one in 175 million, meaning you'd have been 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award.

Skip Garibaldi, a professor of mathematics at Emory University in Atlanta, provided additional perspective: You are three times more likely to die from a falling coconut, he said; seven times more likely to die from fireworks, "and way more likely to die from flesh-eating bacteria" (115 fatalities a year) than you are to win the Powerball lottery.

Segueing, then, from death to life, Garibaldi noted that even the best physicians, equipped with the most up-to-date equipment, can't predict the timing of a child's birth with much accuracy.

"But let's suppose," he said, "that your doctor managed to predict the day, the hour, the minute and the second your baby would be born."

The doctor's uncanny prediction would be "at least 100 times" more likely than your winning.

Even though he knows the odds all too well, Garibaldi said he usually plays the lottery.

"When it gets this big, I'll buy a couple of tickets," he said. "It's kind of exciting. You get this feeling of anticipation. You get to think about the fantasy."

So, did he buy two tickets this time?

"I couldn't," he told ABC News. "I'm in California" -- one of eight states that doesn't offer Powerball.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Fever Sweeps the Nation, Fuels $500 Million Jackpot

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: The Powerball jackpot is now up to $550 million.

(NEW YORK) -- The allure of the record $500 million Powerball jackpot has led to long lines across the nation at local mini-marts and gas stations, with Americans hoping their champagne and caviar dreams become a reality when the numbers are drawn Wednesday night.

The jackpot was boosted on Tuesday from $425 million to the now historic $500 million sum, which is expected to get sweeter as millions of Americans rush to the store for their last chance to purchase a ticket and become a multi-millionaire overnight.

Powerball officials tell ABC News they expect to sell more than 105,000 tickets every minute before the drawing.  When the dust settles, more than 189 million tickets would have been sold for the half a billion-dollar jackpot.  That's more than double the number sold for Saturday's $325 million jackpot that nobody won.

ABC News was allowed access to the Powerball studios in Tallahassee, Fla., where the 11 p.m. ET drawing will take place.  The closely guarded machines and balls are locked in a vault before the numbers are drawn and only a select few are allowed inside the room during the actual broadcast.

Anyone who enters or leaves the vault is documented and workers who handle the lottery balls wear gloves, worried that human touch might change what numbers are randomly drawn.

Cameras are located in every nook and cranny of the Powerball studio, spying on workers as they ready the machines for the big moment.  Lottery officials in several states will be watching those feeds in real time to monitor the proceedings.

Powerball tickets for Wednesday night's jackpot are not offered in eight states.  But that has not stopped many Californians and Nevadans who have flocked to Arizona to get in on the action.

"I'd say the line has to be like three, three and a half hours," one person told ABC News while waiting online to purchase tickets on Tuesday.

Still, the long lines have not deterred those who hope to dramatically change their lifestyle and make their wildest dreams become a reality.

"I'm going to the Bahamas and enjoying myself on an island," said one Powerball hopeful.

Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Des Moines, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, said the chance of getting a winner Wednesday night is approaching 60 percent.

There has been no Powerball winner since Oct. 6 -- that's 16 consecutive drawings without a winner.  It's the second-highest jackpot in U.S. lottery history, behind only the $656 million Mega Millions prize in March.

Lottery officials put the odds of winning Wednesday's Powerball pot at one in 175 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Powerball Jackpot at $325M, Fourth Largest Ever

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Powerball jackpot has reached $325 million, the fourth largest in the lottery’s history. The drawing will be Saturday, Nov. 24.

If one person’s ticket matches all five numbers along with the Powerball number, that winner will receive a $212.8 million lump sum before taxes. If the winner chooses the annuity option, he or she will receive annual installments for 29 years equal to the full $325 million.

That is, of course, if there is a winner.

According to Powerball’s website, the odds of winning Saturday’s jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510.

However, such huge jackpots always encourage more people to play and as the prizes grow, so do the number of ticket buyers. New York Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Hapeman says excitement over Powerball has also grown since the ticket price was raised from $1 to $2 in January and to increase incentives to play by allowing for a new $1 million second prize and a higher starting jackpot of $40 million. Jackpots have also increased more quickly since the $1 increase.

The three bigger jackpots were a $337 million win in 2012, a $340 million win in 2005, and the largest Powerball win to date was in 2006 for $365 million.

Powerball is played in 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Only California, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, Mississippi, Alabama, Utah, and Wyoming do not participate in the multi-state game.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iowa Couple Claims $202M Powerball Jackpot

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mary and Brian Lohse of Bondurant, Iowa, walked into the Iowa Lottery headquarters on Thursday as a medical technician and attorney, respectively, and parents to three children.  They exited the headquarters in a stretch limousine after claiming their prize as sole winners of a $202.1 million Powerball jackpot.

Mary Lohse, 42, who bought the winning Powerball ticket last week at a local Casey’s General Store where she stopped for gas, didn’t think she had won the grand prize.

“I have the last three numbers and I was like, ‘Well, crap, I think I won at least 100 bucks,” she said at a news conference Thursday.

Once she saw all the numbers and believed it herself, she had an even harder time convincing her husband, who was out of town for work.

He told her to “go see our attorney,” if she was telling the truth.  When Mary sent him a text message asking for directions to their attorney’s office, he knew their lives had changed.

“I figured perhaps she wasn’t pulling my leg,” Brian Lohse, 43, said.

The couple, as sole winners, chose a one-time payment that reduced the gross prize to $129.8 million.  After taxes, the couple -- parents to kids ages 15, 11 and 8 -- collected a check for $90.9 million.

“We’ve certainly been blessed beyond what we ever thought we would be,” said Brian Lohse, who, in addition to his position as an attorney at a Des Moines insurance company, also serves on the Bondurant City Council.

Both Brian and Mary, who works as a certified medical assistant at the pediatric clinic of a medical center in Des Moines, have taken a leave of absence from their jobs.

They told reporters Thursday that they plan to pay off their student loans, build a new house and buy new cars -- a first for Mary.  Her husband has already splurged on new shoes, the Des Moines Register reported.

They also plan to give some of their winnings to charity, establish their own foundation and donate to their local church and schools.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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