2 tickets strike gold, win $580 million Powerball jackpot
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two lucky ticket holders - one in Arizona and another in Missouri - are America's newest multimillionaires after the largest Powerball jackpot drawing ever.
Powerball officials said two tickets matched all six numbers to win the record $587.5 million jackpot. The numbers drawn for Wednesday night, for the second-highest jackpot in U.S. lottery history, are 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball is 6.
It was not clear whether the winning tickets belonged to individuals or were purchased by groups.
One of the winning tickets was sold at a Trex Mart convenience store in Dearborn, Mo., about 35 miles north of Kansas City, the state lottery commission said in a news release.
Earlier Thursday, Missouri Lottery spokesman Gary Gonder said he was on his way to that store to assist with the expected onslaught of media attention. That store will be awarded $50,000 for selling the winning ticket.
"I guess we'll be able to give out Christmas bonuses," said Trex Mart General Manager Kenny Gilbert. "That's nice, especially at this time of year."
It did not appear Wednesday's big winner had yet come forward.
"If you buy Powerball tickets at this location, please find them and check them closely," said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. "If you find you're holding the winning ticket, be sure you sign the back and put it in a safe place until you can take it to a Missouri Lottery office. You will also want to get some legal and financial advice before you claim."
The winner has 180 days to claim their share in the prize money.
Arizona Lottery officials say one of the two winning Powerball tickets was sold at a convenience store, 4 Sons Food Store, in Fountain Hills outside of Phoenix.
Americans went on a ticket-buying spree in the run-up to Wednesday's drawing, the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to purchase a shot at the second-largest payout in U.S. history.
Tickets sold at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide - about six times the volume from a week ago. That pushed the jackpot even higher, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. The jackpot rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner.
Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neumauer said the jackpot was estimated at $587.5 million by early Thursday, adjusted slightly upward from the $579.9 million estimate at the time of the drawing. The cash payout was $384.7 million.
In a Mega Millions drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot. This remains the largest lottery payout of all time.
Multi-State Lottery Association: http://www.powerball.com
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