$338 million ticket for Powerball sold in New Jersey
$338 million ticket in the Powerball lottery was sold in New Jersey Saturday, and the winner will be announced Monday. The $338 million ticket was the first winner since early February.
The lottery fantasies of mansions, luxury boats, and unlimited travel are over for most people. But for the owner – or owners – of the lone winning ticket sold in New Jersey for Powerball's $338.3 million drawing they're just beginning.
New Jersey Lottery officials will release information on the ticket at a news conference Monday morning at the lottery's headquarters in Lawrenceville.
Details on where and when Saturday's winning ticket was purchased and other related information were not disclosed Sunday by officials, who also would not say if anyone claiming to hold the ticket had contacted them.
Lottery officials say it was the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history. The numbers drawn were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. A lump sum payout would be $221 million.
Retailers in New Jersey said the growing jackpot had spurred a big boost in ticket sales in recent days, and many people were willing to stand in long lines to get their tickets.
"We are hoping that we sold it here because that would be a blessing for one of our customers in these tough times," said a worker at a Camden area convenience store.
When Teddy Jackson heard Sunday morning that the winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Jersey, the Toms River resident combed through his 40 tickets and hoped for the best.
About 20 minutes later, after checking each ticket at least a couple times, Mr. Jackson realized he would have to go work on Monday.
"There were a few where I had one or two numbers, but that was it," the 45-year-old electrician said Sunday.
"I hope whoever wins does good things with the money," Jackson said. "It's OK to buy yourself a few material things and take some trips, but $338 million can do a lot of good things. Help the people who lost their jobs, the ones who got destroyed by [superstorm] Sandy, the folks dealing with serious medical problems ... don't become one of these stupid people who get a windfall and blow it all."
Lottery officials said 13 tickets worth $1 million apiece – matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball – were sold in Arizona, Florida (2), Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina, and Virginia.
Powerball said on its website that the grand prize jackpot has now been reset to an estimated $40 million or a lump sum cash amount estimated at $25 million for Wednesday's next drawing.
No one had won the Powerball jackpot since early February, when Dave Honeywell in Virginia bought the winning ticket and elected a cash lump sum for his $217 million jackpot.
The largest Powerball jackpot ever came in at $587.5 million in November. The winning numbers were picked on two different tickets – one by a couple in Missouri and the other by an Arizona man – and the jackpot was split.
Nebraska still holds the record for the largest Powerball jackpot won on a single ticket – $365 million. That jackpot was won by eight workers at a Lincoln meatpacking plant in February 2006.
Powerball is played in 42 states; Washington, D.C.; and the US Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.
Powerball said on its website that the game is played every Wednesday and Saturday night when five white balls are drawn from a drum of 59 balls and one red ball is picked from a drum with 35 red balls. It added that winners of the Powerball jackpot can elect to be paid out over 29 years at a percentage set by the game's rules – or in a lump sum cash payment.