A lucky Powerball player in Massachusetts is the biggest winner in lottery history, after being the sole ticket-holder to match all five numbers and the Powerball Wednesday night. The prize: $758.7 million.
Powerball officials had announced the jackpot at $700 million before Wednesday night’s drawing, but that figure was only an estimate. A late rush of ticket sales pushed the actual total up to the final total.
That’s the second highest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States, behind only the $1.6 billion in January 2016. But three people shared that jackpot, including Maureen Smith, 70, of Melbourne Beach in Florida.
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Wednesday’s ticket was sold at Handy Variety in Watertown, Mass. The winning numbers Wednesday were: 6-7-16-23-26, with a Powerball at 4.
While the total is listed at $758.7 million, that figure is based on a 29-year annuity, Players who take the lump sum and have federal income taxes also taken out usually collect about 50 percent of a jackpot. In this case, it will be $480.5 million.
Forty tickets matched all five numbers, missing only the Powerball. Six of those also bought the Powerplay feature, which means they will win $2 million; 34 others, including three in Florida, bought the usual $2 Powerball ticket and will receive $1 million.
No one had matched the winning numbers since June 10. The odds of winning the grand prize are one in 292.2 million.
Powerball is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each state is responsible for selling Powerball tickets, and half of the money collected goes into jackpots. The state gets the other half.
In Florida, Powerball sales comprise about 7 percent of the $5 billion or so of annual lottery sales. Scratch-off games comprise about 68 percent. Other drawing games, including Play 3, Play 4, Play 5, MegaMillions and the Florida Lotto, also attract players.
Want to study the numbers? Well, Powerball.com and FloridaLottery.com are likely jammed up right now. Try LotteryPost.com, or as that site’s publisher recommends, go to usamega.com.
NickSortal@BellSouth.net. Feeling lucky? Follow @NickSortal