Lisa Kay would quit her job. James Sowada said he might faint.
Oh the things people would do if they struck it rich by winning the estimated $758.7 million Powerball jackpot in Wednesday night’s drawing.
Around midnight, officials said there was a single Powerball jackpot winner from a ticket sold in Massachusetts. The winning numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and the Powerball was 4. It’s the second-largest prize in the game’s 25-year history, topped only by a $1.6 billion prize shared by three ticket holders in January 2016.
The Massachusetts State Lottery had announced around 2:30 a.m. Thursday that a convenience store in Watertown, near Boston, had sold the winning ticket. But shortly before 8 a.m., the lottery said it had made a mistake, and that the winning ticket was sold across the state at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, in Western Massachusetts.
The lottery did not say how the error was made .
It said the store in Watertown did sell a ticket that won a $1 million prize.
A ticket sold in Minnesota also matched five numbers to win $1 million.
Despite only a .0000003 percent chance of winning the grand prize — the staggering odds are 1 in 292,201,338 — Minnesota lottery players were up against other odds, too. There hasn’t been a grand prize Powerball winner in state for more than four years.
If he won? “I think I’d faint or pass out, then I’d get a tax attorney,” Sowada said after his noontime purchase. “I think I’d use the winnings and give to a charitable organization.”
Lottery fever was growing across the state where business was brisk at the 3,000 retailers that sell lottery tickets, lottery officials said.
Cash registers were steadily ringing at the Cub Foods on Vicksburg Lane in Plymouth, which is the luckiest place in Minnesota to buy a Powerball ticket, according to state lottery officials. At the M & H gas station on Main Avenue in Moorhead, lines formed at 5:30 a.m. and were out the door for a good part of the day, said station attendant Jesse Joy.
“We are known for our lottery,” he said, noting the station is the second-luckiest place to buy Powerball tickets. “That’s part of why we are so busy.”
The buzz was palpable at Billy and Marty’s, where hopes were high with the prospect of being the one. There had not been a Powerball winner in the last 20 drawings, since June 10, when the jackpot was $447.8 million and the winning ticket was sold in California.
Kay, who bought 10 tickets at the downtown convenience store, said she was going to put an end to that streak.
“I’m gong to win,” said Kay, who currently works in a downtown spa and drives for Lyft but would quit if she won. “My customers would be disappointed, but they’d get over it.”
The prospects of somebody winning goes up the longer the lottery goes, said Adam Prock of the state lottery office. As jackpots grow, more people play and more number combinations get covered, he said.
Gerry Sieben was part of an office pool that bought 28 tickets Wednesday at Billy and Marty’s.
Prock noted it only takes one ticket to win and that buying lots of combinations are not necessarily better than buying a single ticket.
Anybody who matches the number on all five white balls and the red Powerball has the option to choose to receive 30 payments over 29 years or take a cash option, which would be $443.3 million, according to Powerball.
There are 69 white balls in the hopper, but some numbers come up more than others. Number 32 had come up the most (25 times) since numbers were expanded in 2015. The number 35 has come up the least with only five appearances. The most frequent red Powerball number is nine while 14 had been drawn the least. Powerball numbers run from 1 to 26.
Retailers earn a $50,000 reward for selling the winning ticket, and that has outlets such as Kwik Trip in Chanhassen rooting for every ticket they sell.
“Our machine is getting a workout today, said manager Phil Sell. “Our customers say they will tip us and won’t forget us if they win.”
Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“It’s fun to think what you might do with $700 million. Tomorrow might look different,” Prock said. “It’s exciting, it’s fun, but do play responsibly.”