A California Lottery official said that winning tickets for the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.
Soon after the hotly anticipated draw, California Lottery, tweeted that one winning ticket was sold in the San Bernardino suburb of Chino Hills.
California Lottery’s deputy director of communications, Russ Lopez, revealed later that winning tickets had also been sold in Florida and Tennessee.
None of the winners’ identities have yet been revealed, although in Chino Hills, crowds descended on the 7-Eleven store that sold the winning ticket. The store gets a $1 million bonus for the making the lucky sale.
California also had 12 ticket-holders match five of the six winning numbers, which were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball number 10.
No ticket holder had all the winning numbers in Saturday’s $900 million drawing, which sent the Wednesday draw to a world record-breaking $1.586 billion. If there is just a single winner, and they choose to take the cash prize instead an annuitized payout over 29 years, they would receive $930 million.
The jackpot prize, handwritten on a Powerball sign, is displayed at a corner store selling lottery tickets along the U.S. Mexico border in San Ysidro, California, January 12, 2016.
Powerball reported ticket sales of just over 300 million by the middle of the day on Wednesday, as the prospect of winning the world’s single largest jackpot sparked lottery fever across the U.S. The Powerball lottery can be played in 44 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories.
Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas lottery, told a news conference ahead of the draw that ticket sales were expected to hit a rate of $1.3 million per minute during the commuter rush hour.
But the odds of buying a winning ticket was stratospherically slim – one in 292.2 million, in fact, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. As one statistician put it, ticket holders were 25 times more likely to become the next president of the United States than they were to win the jackpot.
According to historical lottery data and analysis of purchasing behavior in past drawings, the best time to gamble on the lottery might have actually been when the Powerball jackpot was about $600 million smaller than it is currently.
The more tickets in play, the higher the probability of seeing multiple winners and a split jackpot. That in turn mathematically lowers the expected value of an individual lottery ticket.