One lottery ticket from New Hampshire wins $559.7 million Powerball jackpot


By Todd Northrop

One Powerball ticket holder in New Hampshire is the winner of the $559.7 million jackpot prize, the 8th-largest in US lottery history.

The winning numbers, drawn Saturday night, were 12, 29, 30, 33, and 61, with Powerball number 26. The Power Play number was 3.

The owner of the winning ticket can choose the annuity option in which 30 payments are made over 29 years, with each annual payment increasing over time. Most, however, choose the cash option. In this case, take-home cash would be $352 million.

The winning ticket was sold at Reeds Ferry Market, a small, independent convenience store located in Merrimack, New Hampshire, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Concord.

Since the store opened at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, dozens of excited regulars have stopped by to congratulate the owner and chat about the win, said store owner Sam Safa. He said he doesn’t know the identity of the winner, but hopes one of the regulars from the over 100-year-old store won the nation’s 8th-largest lottery jackpot.

“I’m very excited and overwhelmed,” said Safa. He said that by selling the ticket it felt like he himself had won. The store will receive a $75,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

The final jackpot amount was about $10 million less than what the lotteries were expecting. On Friday, the Powerball jackpot estimate was increased to $570 million, but as the final amount of $559.7 illustrates, that was only an estimation. It is not common for the lotteries to overestimate the jackpot to this degree.

In addition to the New Hampshire jackpot winner, 7 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Connecticut, 2 from New Jersey, 1 from South Carolina, 2 from Texas, and 1 from Washington.

None of the second-prize tickets were purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1. If they were, the prize would have been doubled to $2 million.

Power Play is available in all jurisdictions that sell Powerball except California. By law, California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level.

115 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $50,000. Of those tickets, 15 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $150,000, and 11 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $25,801 this drawing.

In all, more than 4 million tickets, including the jackpot winner, won prizes from Saturday’s drawing.

Last year, a woman from Chicopee, Mass., won the $758 million Powerball jackpot and received a lump-sum payment of $480 million after choosing the cash option. In 2016, three winners from California, Florida and Tennessee split a jackpot prize of nearly $1.6 billion.

The game started as Lotto America in the late 1980s and was changed and renamed Powerball in the early 1990s. It’s one of two big jackpot games played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The other one, Mega Millions, found a winner Friday. A single Mega Millions ticket holder in Florida won the $450 million jackpot prize, the fourth biggest in the multi-state lottery’s 15-year history. The winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Port Richey, a Gulf Coast town northwest of Tampa.

The winning Mega Millions numbers, drawn Friday night, were 28, 30, 39, 59, and 70, with Mega Ball number 10. Payments made over 29 years, with each annual payment 5 percent bigger than the previous one, will be made under the annuity option. The one-time cash payment would yield $281 million.

The odds of winning jackpot prizes in both games were astronomical. For the Powerball jackpot, they were 1 in 292 million. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were worse: 1 in 302.6 million, according to multi-state lottery website USA Mega (www.usamega.com).

The prizes for both lotteries are back down to $40 million, with drawings scheduled Tuesday for Mega Millions and Wednesday for Powerball.



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