DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some bad news for those who were still hoping to get a piece of the record jackpot: officials announced that two winners have nailed the lucky numbers for the Powerball jackpot. The winning tickets were bought in Arizona and Missouri.
A new record was set on Wednesday evening when the Powerball jackpot amounted to the amazing sum of $579.9 million, making the cash option $379.8 million. This time, however, two lucky winners from Arizona and Missouri picked the right numbers and got a big chunk of the lottery pie. The numbers that were selected during the Wednesday drawing were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.
This was the second-largest potential lottery payout in the history of the United States as there has been no top winner during the past 16 drawings. The bigger the jackpot, the bigger the number of lottery tickets sold. Officials reported on Wednesday evening that they registered an average of 130,000 tickets sold per minute across the United States in the hours before the drawing. According to the calculations of Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, American players have bought 7.8 million tickets an hour and spent $15.6 million an hour hoping to win the Powerball prize.
Sales grew six times in the past week, so game officials were forced to boost the jackpot twice in two days. Rules were no longer taken into account this time as the players preferred to pick their numbers randomly for the Wednesday drawing. Statistics show that 90 percent of the tickets contained numbers that were selected with the help of computers.
The last time the jackpot was won was on October 6 when the Mega Millions jackpot was divided between three winners from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. On Wednesday, there were only two winners of the Powerball jackpot, whereas 8,924,123 players will receive smaller sums of money.