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Fri Oct 31 19:12:47 SAST 2014

Two tickets share record $588 million US Powerball win

Reuters | 29 November, 2012 15:51
Tickets for lottery customers to pick numbers are stacked on a rack at a store. File photo
Image by: CHIP EAST / REUTERS

Winning tickets bought in Arizona and Missouri matched numbers drawn for a record Powerball lottery jackpot of $588 million, the Multi-State Lottery Association said.

Holders of the two winning tickets in the Wednesday night draw will share an estimated $385 million after tax if they opt to take it as a lump sum. Alternatively, the $588 million can be paid out to them as annuities over three decades, the association said.

The drawing took place at 10:59 p.m. EST, with winning numbers 5 16 22 23 29, and a Powerball of 6. The Association did not say if the ticket holders had come forward yet to claim their vast cash prizes.

Powerball spokeswomen in Arizona and Missouri did not immediately respond to emails seeking further details on the winners.

The popular lottery - which is played in 42 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands - had not had a winner for two months. After no one won the top prize in Saturday's drawing, the pot had grown by about $263 million to $578.5 million amid a rush to buy tickets.

The previous Powerball top prize of $365 million was won in 2006 by ConAgra slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. The largest-ever U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing, was shared by three winning tickets last March.

Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, where Powerball is based, said lottery officials had received calls and emails from people around the world asking if they can buy a ticket. They cannot.

There have been nearly 300 jackpot winners over the past 20 years, taking home payouts of over $11.6 billion.

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