Winning tickets sought in $588M Powerball jackpot
Updated at 10:04 p.m. ET
DEARBORN, Mo. The search is on for the country's newest multimillionaires, the holders of two tickets that matched all six numbers to claim a record $588 million Powerball jackpot.
Lottery officials said Thursday that the winning tickets matching all six numbers were sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix and a gas station just off Interstate 29 in a small northwestern Missouri town. Neither ticket holder had come forward.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Lottery has verified the state's winning Powerball ticket. A news conference to reveal who bought the ticket is planned for Friday morning at a high school in Dearborn, the small northwestern Missouri town where the ticket was purchased. Missouri Lottery chief operations officer Gary Gonder says he can't provide any details, including whether the ticket was bought by someone from Missouri.
Officials did not specify how many people shared the six-number ticket, purchased at a Trex Mart convenience store in Dearborn, but together they'll split $587.5 million prize equally with a ticket holder in Arizona that has yet to be announced.
The numbers drawn for Wednesday night, for the second-highest jackpot in U.S. lottery history, are:
5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6
An additional 8,924,123 players won smaller prizes, including about 60 who each won a million-dollar prize for matching five numbers, Dooley said. Eight of the $1 million tickets were sold in New Jersey, state lottery officials said. Indiana and Michigan each had two $1 million winners.
Earlier Thursday, Missouri Lottery spokesman Gary Gonder said he was on his way to the store that sold the winning ticket, located 35 miles north of Kansas City, to assist with the expected onslaught of media attention.
Arizona lottery officials said the other ticket was sold at a 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, in suburban Phoenix. Both will shops will be awarded $50,000 for selling the winning tickets.
"I think it's crazy, and I also think it's great," said Bob Chebat, who manages the 4 Sons. "I'm glad that all that work yesterday wasn't for nothing."
The store was swept up in a nationwide ticket-buying spree preceding Wednesday's drawing, with the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to buy a shot at the payout.
Clerks at 4 Sons sold 986 Powerball tickets Wednesday, which Chebat said was well above average.
The mystery fueled a giddy mood at the Trex Mart just outside Dearborn, Mo. -- population 500 -- as lottery officials and the media descended.
Cashiers Kristi Williams and Kelly Blount greeted customers with big smiles and questions about whether they had bought the winning ticket. No one had come forward to claim the prize by late Thursday morning, Missouri Lottery officials said.
"It's just awesome," Williams said. "It's so exciting. We can't even work."
In Dearborn, Williams said several local people buy lottery tickets there regularly and workers were hoping it was one of their regulars.
But Baron Hartell, son of the store's owner, Lowell Hartell, said truck drivers moving in both directions on the north-south interstate that connects Kansas City to the Canadian border who frequent the store are also considered locals.
"Even the truck drivers who come around, we see them every day, so they all feel like all locals to us," he said.
Store manager Chris Naurez said business had been "crazy" for Powerball tickets lately and that the store had sold about $27,000 worth of tickets in the last few days.
"This really puts Dearborn on the map," he said.
It appeared the winners had yet to come forward, and it wasn't clear if the tickets had been bought by individuals or groups. Winners have 180 days to claim their share of the prize money.
CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports the odds of winning were 1 in 175 million. Still, that didn't deter Americans from purchasing a shot at the highest-ever Powerball game. More than 160 million tickets were sold, going at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide on Wednesday. At one point, Florida was selling 200,000 tickets per minute.
Sue Dooley, a production coordinator for the Multi-State Lottery Association, told CBS Radio News 563 million tickets were sold for Wednesday night's drawing, which she believes is a record.The cash option for the jackpot adds to $384 million
"Starting on Saturday we will start our jackpot over again at $40 million and work it up again," Dooley told CBS Radio News.
The jackpot had already rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner, but Powerball officials said earlier Wednesday they believed there was a 75 percent chance the winning combination will be drawn this time.
Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners had some sound advice for those holding the winning tickets: Stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coaster of joy, anxiety, guilt and distrust.
"I had to adapt to this new life," said Sandra Hayes, 52, a former child services social worker who split a $224 million Powerball jackpot with a dozen co-workers in 2006, collecting a lump sum she said was in excess of $6 million after taxes. "I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain. These are people who you've loved deep down, and they're turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me."
The single mother kept her job with the state of Missouri for another month and immediately used her winnings to pay off an estimated $100,000 in student loans and a $70,000 mortgage. She spent a week in Hawaii and bought a new Lexus, but six years later still shops at discount stores and lives on a fixed income -- albeit, at a higher monthly allowance than when she brought home paychecks of less than $500 a week.
"I know a lot of people who won the lottery and are broke today," she said. "If you're not disciplined, you will go broke. I don't care how much money you have."
Lottery agencies are keen to show off beaming prize-winners hugging oversize checks at celebratory news conferences, but the tales of big lottery winners who wind up in financial ruin, despair or both are increasingly common.
There's the two-time New Jersey lottery winner who squandered her $5.4 million fortune. A West Virginia man who won $315 million a decade ago on Christmas later said the windfall was to blame for his granddaughter's fatal drug overdose, his divorce, hundreds of lawsuits and an absence of true friends.
The National Endowment for Financial Education cautions those who receive a financial windfall -- whether from lottery winnings, divorce settlements, cashed-out stock options or family inheritances -- to plan for their psychological needs as well as their financial strategies. The Denver-based nonprofit estimates that as many as 70 percent of people who land sudden windfalls lose that money within several years.
"Being able to manage your emotions before you do anything sudden is one of the biggest things," said endowment spokesman Paul Golden. "If you've never had the comfort of financial security before, if you were really eking out a living from paycheck to paycheck, if you've never managed money before, it can be really confusing. There's this false belief that no matter what you do, you're never going to worry about money again."
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