$768m - A very green spring for first US Powerball jackpot winner of 2019

2019-03-28 20:18
Lotto ticket. (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Lotto ticket. (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

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A single ticket that matched all six Powerball numbers to win the estimated $768.4m jackpot — the third-largest jackpot in US lottery history — was sold in a Milwaukee suburb, Wisconsin Lottery officials said on Thursday.

The ticket, worth a cash option of $477m, was sold at a Speedway gas station in New Berlin, a city of about 40 000 people roughly 23 kilometres southwest of Milwaukee, lottery officials told reporters at a news conference. The winner has not come forward yet, Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin said.

The gas station will receive $100 000 for selling the winning ticket.

Under Wisconsin law, the winner or winners can't remain anonymous and have 180 days to claim the prize. Otherwise the ticket is worthless.

The win comes almost exactly two years after Wisconsin hit its last Powerball jackpot, when a Milwaukee resident won $156.2m on March 22, 2017.

Although the prize grew steadily since the previous jackpot winner on December 26, the odds of matching the five white balls and single Powerball remained a dismal 1 in 292.2 million.

  • The winning numbers were 16, 20, 37, 44 and 62
  • The Powerball number was 12

The latest jackpot is the third-largest behind the world record $1.586bn Powerball jackpot shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016, and the $1.537bn Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina last October.

"It's going to be a very green spring for our first Powerball jackpot winner of 2019," David Barden, Powerball Product Group chairman and New Mexico Lottery CEO, said in a statement. "A jackpot of this size can make many dreams come true - not just for the winner, but for all Lottery beneficiaries and the lucky state of Wisconsin."

The $768.4m estimated figure refers to the annuity option, paid over 29 years. Nearly all grand prize winners opt for the cash prize. Both prize options are before taxes.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca said at the news conference that if the winner or winners take the cash prize, the state would claim $38m of the winnings as tax revenue. He didn't know how much the state would receive in taxes each year if the winner or winners choose the annuity route.

Seven tickets matched all five white balls, but missed matching the red Powerball in Wednesday's drawing to win a $1m prize. Those tickets were sold in Arizona, two in California, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey and New York. Two other tickets, sold in Kansas and Minnesota, matched all five white balls and doubled the prize to $2m, because the tickets included the Power Play option for an additional $1.

Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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