Lottery officials say that two tickets had the winning combination in last night's record-busting Powerball drawing—one in Arizona and one in Missouri—halving the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. When all was said and done, the final tally for Wednesday's prize was $587.5 million, as a last-minute buying frenzy goosed the total from its starting number of $425 million. The winning numbers were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29, and the Powerball was 6.
If both winners take the lump sum cash payout, they will each get around $192 million before taxes. Both states automatically withhold 25 percent in federal taxes, plus 4 percent (Missouri) or 5 percent (Arizona) in income taxes. That would equal a check for somewhere around $134,750,000, though they may have to pay even more to the IRS when the accounting is done next April.
Both Arizona and Missouri also require that the name and hometown of all jackpot winners be released to the public, so the winners will not be able to remain anonymous, though they may choose to not show their face. The Missouri lottery website specifically recommends changing your phone number.
The good news for the rest of you losers is that here were so many tickets sold that almost nine million people will get some sort of consolation prize, from a $2 "break even" win for getting the special Powerball number right, to the $1 million second-prize for picking everything except the Powerball correctly. The total payout of non-jackpot prizes was more than $131 million.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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