Wednesday night before the numbers were drawn for the Powerball, the jackpot had risen to $550 million, equal to a cash bonus of over $360 million. But does anyone hold the winning ticket?
While it was too early to tell Wednesday night whether anyone was holding a winning ticket, tensions were high. Tickets were being sold in the masses. In New York, ticket purchases surpassed over one million every hour. The jackpot is the second highest in history, following the Mega Million jackpot earlier this year that reached over $600 million.
Drawings for the winning ticket have been going on since October 16th. Thus far, 16 drawings have occurred without a winner being announced.
Powerball officials stated Wednesday that there was a 75 percent chance one lucky person would be holding a winning ticket. The drawing occurred at 10:59 pm eastern time. The winning numbers were announced as: 05, 23, 16, 22, 29 With a Powerball of 6.
Whether or not someone is holding a winning ticket will not be announced until midnight. Leading up to the game, people were not afraid to speak of their "if only" day dreams. One man, who said he had never bothered to gamble, said he felt compelled to succumbed to lotto fever.
"It's so absurd of a number," UPS driver Jim Baker, 43, told USA Today before the drawing. "People like me who never gamble say, 'Oh, I have to get a ticket.' "
"Half a billion dollars? Donald Trump, move over," Don Whitney, 77, of Carneys Point, N.J. added.
One lotto player admitted that he was afraid to even take a look at his ticket.
"I don't even know if I'll look at it," Andre Williams, who bought his ticket at a newsstand, told the Associate Press. "If I win, I might pass out."
But across the board, the unanimous decision appeared to be a "just do it" attitude.
"I've been thinking about winning this money and what I'd do with it," Pat Powell told the AP, while buying her first ticket. "There's no ritual, but it's just been on my mind. So it's like, let me just join the hype and just do it."
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