A lottery officials announced that two tickets matched all six numbers, thus, winning the record $587.5 million jackpot.
As The Chicago Tribune informs, the lucky numbers drawn for Wednesday night are 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball is 6.
“It is so exciting to sell one of these Powerball tickets,” said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. “In addition, we sold two tickets that matched all five white balls, which means they each win $1 million. Three millionaires in one night is a wonderful night.”
Powerball tickets were selling at 130,000 a minute across the United States in the hours before the drawing, reported Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the famous lottery.
The number of tickets sold a minute is equivalent to players buying 7.8 million tickets an hour, spending $15.6 million an hour for a chance at the huge jackpot.
The incredible demand for tickets, which was about six times the rate of the week before, prompted game officials to double the jackpot in two days.
Yvette Gavin, who sold the tickets, said of the crazy lottery-fans: “A lot of customers say if they win they will take care of me, but I will have to wait and see.”
Missouri Lottery spokesman Gary Gonder promised Tuesday a store which sold the winning ticket will be awarded $50,000.
“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.”
The lottery, which is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has sold out of tickets in some locations. Many players even bought tickets in different states to increase chances to win.
Lottery officials counted that a chance to win the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million. A person is more likely to become President of the United States, date a supermodel or become a movie star than win the jackpot, The Huffington Post writes.
Pat Powell bought her first Powerball ticket at another store in Atlanta, admitting that her odds were probably “zero to zero.” The woman revealed her specific plans for the possible win: start an Internet cafe in the West Indies and a learning center in Georgia.
“I’ve been thinking about winning this money and what I’d do with it,” Powell said. “There’s no ritual, but it’s just been on my mind. So it’s like, let me just join the hype and just do it.”
In Atlanta, Benita Lewis, who had never played the Powerball, didn’t want to be the only one left in her office without a ticket.
“I did feel nervous buying it like I could be the one,” she said. “I’m going to retire and pay off all my family’s debt.”
Salesman from Philadelphia Billy Fulginiti bought 50 tickets with co-workers and a few more with a small group.
“You go to bed at night wishing you wake up a millionaire,” Fulginiti said. He planned to take a long vacation and “help a lot of people, a lot of charities,” if any of his tickets turn out to be winners.
The previous Powerball jackpot of $365 million was won in 2006 by ConAgra slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. The largest in U.S. lottery jackpot, which was estimated about $656, was shared by three winning tickets last year, Reuters reminds.