$600 Million Powerball: 1 Winning Ticket Sold in Fla.

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$600 million Powerball: 1 winning ticket sold in Fla.
Nati Harnik/APSheila Sutton updates the Powerball prize money sign at the Super C convenience store in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, May 17, 2013. Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize. Sutton sold a million dollar powerball ticket on Tuesday.
By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ

DES MOINES, Iowa - It's all about the odds, and one single ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials disclosed Sunday.

The lone winner was sold at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla., according to Florida Lottery executive Cindy O'Connell. She told The Associated Press by telephone that more details would be released later.

"This would be the sixth Florida Powerball winner and right now, it's the sole winner of the largest everPowerball jackpot," O'Connell told AP. "We're delighted right now that we have the sole winner."

She said Florida has had more Powerball winners than any other state.

The winner was not immediately identified publicly and O'Connell did not give any indication just hours after Saturday's drawing whether anyone had already stepped forward with that winning ticket.

With four out of every five possible combinations of Powerball numbers in play, lottery executives said earlier that someone was almost certain to win the game's highest jackpot, a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars - and that's after taxes.

Saturday night's winning numbers were 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball of 11.

Estimates had earlier put the jackpot at around $600 million. But Powerball's online site said early Sunday that its latest tabulations of all tickets sold put that jackpot at an estimated $590.5 million.

Terry Rich, CEO of the Iowa Lottery, initially confirmed that one Florida winning ticket had been sold. He told AP that following a winner, the Powerball grand prize was being reset at an estimated jackpot of $40 million, or about $25.1 million cash value.

The chances of winning the prize were astronomically low: 1 in 175.2 million. That's how many different ways you can combine the numbers when you play. But lottery officials estimated that about 80 percent of those possible combinations had been purchased recently.

While the odds are low for any one individual or individuals, O'Connell said, the chance that one hits paydirt is what makes Powerball an "exciting game to play."

"There is just the chance that you will have the opportunity and Florida is a huge Powerball state. We have had more winners than any other state that participates in Powerball."

Such longshot odds didn't deter people across Powerball-playing states - 43 plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands - from lining up at gas stations and convenience stores Saturday for their chance at striking it filthy rich.

Calls by AP to the Publix supermarket where the winning ticket was sold were not answered early Sunday.

Before the drawing, there was a rush for tickets around the country.

At a mini market in the heart of Los Angeles' Chinatown, employees broke the steady stream of customers into two lines: One for Powerball ticket buyers and one for everybody else. Some people appeared to be looking for a little karma.

"We've had two winners over $10 million here over the years, so people in the neighborhood think this is the lucky store," employee Gordon Chan said as he replenished a stack of lottery tickets on a counter.

The world's largest jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012. If $600 million, the jackpot would currently include a $376.9 million cash option.

Clyde Barrow, a public policy professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, specializes in the gaming industry. He said one of the key factors behind the ticket-buying frenzy is the size of the jackpot - people are interested in the easy investment.

"Even though the odds are very low, the investment is very small," he said. "Two dollars gets you a chance."

That may be why Ed McCuen has a Powerball habit that's as regular as clockwork. The 57-year-old electrical contractor from Savannah, Ga., buys one ticket a week, regardless of the possible loot. It's a habit he didn't alter Saturday.

"You've got one shot in a gazillion or whatever," McCuen said, tucking his ticket in his pocket as he left a local convenience store. "You can't win unless you buy a ticket. But whether you buy one or 10 or 20, it's insignificant."

Seema Sharma doesn't seem to think so. The newsstand employee in Manhattan's Penn Station purchased $80 worth of tickets for herself. She also was selling tickets all morning at a steady pace, instructing buyers where to stand if they wanted machine-picked tickets or to choose their own numbers.

"I work very hard - too hard - and I want to get the money so I can finally relax," she said. "You never know."

___

Associated Press Radio Correspondent Julie Walker and AP writers Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, S.C., Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, Texas, Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., John Rogers in Los Angeles and Verena Dobnick in New York contributed to this report.

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Greg Brooks ME

You had your chance to tear up the ticket.

May 20 2013 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg Brooks ME

Good luck, you will need it. Get a lawyer do not tell anyone your name. Give it all to charity and someone will take care of you for the rest of your life.

May 20 2013 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wthreebears

Who ever wrote about the death of Wal-Mart obviously didn't understand the accounting courses
they took if they even took college level accounting. Pitiful ThreeBears

May 20 2013 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hemirr1980

why does the headline state 600 million, when in fact, they story says 590 million?

May 20 2013 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smiles41

Congrats to that FLA winner....and a great PR for PUBLIX.....and to think the lucky winner can get it all after fed taxes because he/she lives in a state with NO state income tax....

May 20 2013 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to smiles41's comment
topspin360

Even if they don't live in FL ,they can make residence there before they collect and not pay the state tax.You are never locked in to where you have to live.

May 20 2013 at 11:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to topspin360's comment
Marie Brown

I wouldn't bet on what you just said, or else there would be a mad stampede down to Florida every time someone won.

May 20 2013 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
classof68gto

I think the winner would pay state tax as that is where he won.

May 20 2013 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
merstockgto

The feds will take their share

May 21 2013 at 1:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
molliebean

Florida? Oh dear...I hope Casey Anthony didn't win.

May 20 2013 at 9:00 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
RICHARD BONNET

I can't believe it. Do you know how many
Obama phones you could buy with that money?

May 20 2013 at 8:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

I live about 70 minutes drive from there. Zephyrhills has very good water. I sank an ag well here on my estate and tapped into the Everglades National Forrest aquifer. The well produces the best tasting water I've ever had. I call it the Tranquility Well. I estimate it to be worth one billion dollars. Some day I may bottle it.
I capped it. I don't play the lotto, but here are some interesting numbers for those who do.

If you buy one ticket, your odds are 1 in 175,200,000 . If you buy two tickets your odds improve by 87,600,000 to one in 87,600,000. If you buy four tickets your odds improve to one in 43,800,000 and if you buy 8 tickets odds improve to 21,900,000 to one.

May 20 2013 at 6:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ejschuler1

Congrats to the winner ! Here is some advice , Be smart or BE BROKE

May 20 2013 at 4:24 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
lenders1

Someone posted below that the winner will be fixing all the sink holes in Florida. Anyone else hear this?

May 20 2013 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply