$590 Million Powerball Winner Revealed

When Gloria MacKenzie went to a Florida supermarket near Tampa last month to buy a Powerball ticket, another person in line did something nice for the 84-year-old widow.

"While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket," she said in a statement Wednesday.

The nice gesture turned out to be a life-changing one for MacKenzie and her family. She came forward Wednesday to claim the biggest undivided lottery jackpot in history, $590 million.

A retiree from Maine and a mother of four who lives in a modest, tin-roof house in Zephyrhills, Fla., where the lone winning ticket in the May 18 drawing was sold, MacKenzie took her prize in a lump sum of just over $370 million. After federal taxes, she is getting about $278 million, lottery officials said.

Wearing large sunglasses and dressed in a pink sweater and white pants, she clasped her son's arm after visiting the lottery offices as they made their way to a silver Ford Focus and left quickly. She did not speak to a crowd of reporters outside the building. She was accompanied at the lottery offices by two unidentified attorneys.

MacKenzie bought the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in the town of about 13,300, which is about 30 miles northeast of Tampa. It is best known for the bottled spring water that bears its name — and now, for one of the biggest lottery winners of all time.

The $590 million was the second-largest lottery jackpot in history, behind a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012, but that sum was split, with three winning tickets.

MacKenzie let the lottery computers generate the numbers at random. She said she had previously bought four other tickets for the drawing.

"We are grateful with this blessing of winning the Florida Lottery Powerball jackpot," she said in a statement read by lottery officials. "We hope that everyone would give us the opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family's benefit."

The winner had 60 days to claim the prize as a lump sum payout or 180 days as an annualized 30 payout. Lottery spokesman David Bishop said MacKenzie, her lawyers and her financial adviser spent about two hours going through the necessary paperwork.

"They had clearly been preparing for this. They took all this time to get everything in order," Bishop said.
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The current multi-state lotto jackpot seem small in comparison to MacKenzie’s win.
$60,000,000 est
Cash Option:$36,600,000

$14,000,000 est
Cash Option:$10,100,000

Zephyrhills awaits the Powerball winner

It's been two long weeks since the small city of Zephyrhills learned that a $590 million Powerball ticket was sold at a supermarket here.

No one expected the winner to come forward in the first days after the announcement. After all, curious residents reasoned, the person might need a few days to absorb the shock, or to consult with financial advisers.

But then a week passed, and more, and now folks are so anxious to know the winner's identity they could jump out of their skin.

"Being in a small town, everybody knows everybody and in some cases, everybody's business," said Dave Walters, a longtime reporter at the Zephyrhills News community newspaper. "It's hard to keep a secret in this town, but this is one of the biggest mysteries we've had in a long, long time."

Rumors were swirling about who the winner could be: Publix deli employees, single moms working at Wal-Mart -- even the cousin of a friend of a guy who lived clear in another county.

"Anybody who did not show up for work on that Monday was considered to be the lottery winner," Walters said. "If you had the flu and didn't show up for work, everyone thought you were the lottery winner. If you took a personal day or a sick day, they thought you had won the lottery."

Joe Abed, who owns Manolo's Italian restaurant in the historic downtown, thinks the ticket was sold to a senior citizen.

"It's a conspiracy theory," he said, using his hands to make quote marks. "I believe it's a senior citizen that purchased the ticket and they just have no idea that they won the ticket."

Customers casually come and go from the Publix supermarket where the winning ticket was sold as the town of 13,337 does its best to contain itself while still not knowing who the winner is.

Marsha Decena, a Zephyrhills clothing store owner, said she's anxious to find out who won.

"I've heard so many different rumors through town, from it being a 23- or 26-year-old woman to somebody might have washed it in their pocket, the ticket is just lost and they don't know that they won," she said. "It's crazy."

The winner has 60 days from the date of the May 18 drawing to claim a lump-sum payment, and until mid-November to claim annual cash payments.

Zephyrhills resident Don Lawrence thinks the winner is just lining up legal and accounting staff.

"Lost the ticket or something like that? No, I don't think so," he said. "I think somebody's taking their time, doing it the right way."

According to the Florida Lottery website, if a Powerball jackpot isn't claimed within 180 days from the draw date, "the funds to pay the unclaimed jackpot will be returned to the lottery members in their proportion of sales for the jackpot rollover series."

Fla Powerball Winners Surface…not the big ones

The Florida Lottery announces that Jeffrey Geeting, 38, of Jacksonville, claimed a $1 million POWERBALL® prize from Saturday night's POWERBALL drawing and split his winnings with a friend.

The two friends purchased $20 each of POWERBALL tickets for Saturday night's draw, pledging to share with each other should either one win. On Sunday morning they each checked their tickets. While his friend did not match any numbers, Jeffrey matched 5-of-5 numbers to win $1 million, and kept his promise to share. "We are thrilled to have a Jacksonville player be among the winners from this record Powerball drawing," said Secretary Cynthia O'Connell.

The Florida Lottery also announced that Steven Vaughan, 41, of Seminole, claimed the second $1 million POWERBALL® prize from Saturday night's POWERBALL drawing.
Vaughan, a regular POWERBALL player, and avid Bill Murray fan, was ecstatic to learn he matched 5-of-5 winning numbers to win $1 million in the May 18 drawing.
"Now that Florida's two $1 million POWERBALL winners have claimed their prizes, the Florida Lottery is looking forward to awarding the jackpot prize; the largest, single-winning ticket in Lottery history," said Secretary Cynthia O'Connell.

One Florida POWERBALL ticket, purchased in Zephyrhills, won the record-high $590.5 million Powerball jackpot

The multi-state lotto games jackpots are below:

$40,000,000 est
Cash Option:$25,100,000

$15,000,000 est
Cash Option:$11,000,000

A whopper of a Jackpot!

Mega Millions was hit in the states of New Jersey and Virginia on May 17, 2013. The winners will split a jackpot worth an estimated $190 million annuity, or $140.6 million cash option.

We wait to see if, or how many winners there are, in tonight’s Powerball drawing.


The $600 million Powerball jackpot is the largest in the game's history.

What has happened over the last three years is increasingly enormous Powerball jackpots and with them, an ever expanding number of customers. While each ticket carries the same infinitesimal chance of winning, 1 in 175.2 million, the sheer size of recent jackpots have made it too tempting for many to pass up.

If no one matches all five numbers plus the Powerball on Saturday, the jackpot will continue to grow. Kelly Cripe, media director for the Texas Lottery, which is one of the states in the Powerball lottery, said the next drawing would be May 22 and estimated the pot would be at least an astonishing $925 million. The frenzy of such a massive jackpot would likely push it even higher, perhaps to one billion dollars !

Here are the jackpots for all the multi-state games:

$600,000,000 est
Cash Option:$376,900,000

$12,000,000 est
Cash Option:$8,800,000

$6,210,000 est

Don't spend a lot but both Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are Huge

Dueling Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are giving lottery players two chances to strike it rich Friday and Saturday.

The Powerball jackpot has soared to about $550 million before Saturday's drawing after no tickets matched the winning numbers of Wednesday's drawing. Rival Mega Millions' grand prize, at $190 million, could climb higher before Friday's drawing.

California, which started selling Powerball tickets at the beginning of April, and Florida where Mega Millions went on sale only last Wednesday, expects full-blown lotto fever

A single Powerball ticket costs $2, while a Mega Millions ticket costs $1. A jackpot of $550 million ranks as the second largest in Powerball history and third biggest overall.

Both lotteries hit records in 2012, with a $587.5 million Powerball payout in November and a $656 million Mega Millions payout in March. The games are played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning the top jackpot prize in either game are one in 175 million.

While I encourage you to get in the game, I also encourage you to spend wisely. All you need is a single play to win or to lose lose.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175,223,510.

Say you went wild and spent $200 on the next Powerball drawing. What would your odds of winning be then?

One in 175,223, 410. . . no real improvement at all.

Here are all the odds:


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A lotto odds

Two lottery jackpots are up for grabs this week. The prizes add up to more than half a billion dollars.

But don’t count on getting doubly lucky.

The only thing more astronomical than the amount won by a double winner would be the odds against winning both at the same time, which would be about one in 31 quadrillion (based on the 175.7 million chance of winning the Mega Millions jackpot multiplied by the one in 175.2 million chance of winning the Powerball jackpot).

Still, someone — at least two someones, that is — could get lucky big-time this week.

A $360 million prize awaits the winner of the Powerball drawing at 10:59 p.m set tonight.
Friday in the Mega Millions drawing, the prize will be $190 million.

$360,000,000 est
Cash Option:$229,200,000

$190,000,000 est
Cash Option:$140,900,000

Hot Lotto Multi State Game Changes Soon

Beginning May 15, Hot Lotto players who win the game’s jackpot will receive their prize in a single cash payment with the initial holding taxes already paid.

Currently, Hot Lotto grand prize winners have the option of choosing a lump sum payment or 25 annual payments. Jackpots for the lotto game begin at $1 million and will increase a minimum of $50,000 under the new rules.

Other changes in the Hot Lotto game, effective with the May 15, 2013 drawing, include: the number of white balls available to be chosen for the draw will increase from 39 to 47; the game’s second prize will increase from $10,000 to $30,000 ($30,000 to $90,000 with the Sizzler option); the third prize will go up from $500 to $3,000 ($1,500 to $9,000 with the Sizzler option); and several lower tier prizes will see small increases.

The price per play for Hot Lotto will remain at just $1; the Sizzler option is available for an additional $1 per play.

Hot Lotto is currently played in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia. Tennessee will join the game on May 12, 2013. Drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday nights.
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Large jackpots are available for tonight’s Mega Millions game and Saturday’s Powerball drawing.

$154,000,000 est
Cash Option:$115,200,000

$270,000,000 est
Cash Option:$175,800,000