Lottery officials said at least one winner has won the giant jackpot. A winning ticket was sold Lincoln, Neb. It's not known whether other winning tickets were sold in other states.
The chances of winning the jackpot by matching all six numbers were 1 in 146.1 million. The winning numbers drawn Saturday night were 15-17-43-44-48 and Powerball 29.
The Powerball jackpot topped the previous lottery record, which was $363 million for the Big Game, the forerunner of Mega Millions. That was won by two ticket holders in Illinois and Michigan in 2000.
Powerball's previous record of $340 million was won by an Oregon family in October.
West Virginia retailers cranked out tickets at a rate of 29 per second on Friday, said Libby White, the lottery's marketing director. North Carolina and Virginia residents called the West Virginia lottery asking for directions to the closest retailer, she said.
Sales in South Carolina reached $11,000 a minute on Friday, "pretty staggering," said John C.B. Smith, chairman of the state's lottery commission.
The big buyers usually are people representing pools of co-workers, and some bought hundreds of tickets at a time, said Hope Travers, clerk at a 7-Eleven in Rhode Island.
"They've been driving me nutty," she said.
But with that much money on the line, sometimes the pool buyers ask for separate tickets on the side, said Bruce Rogers, owner of Kevin's Corner Smoke Shop in downtown Providence, Rhode Island.
"I say 'What are you going to do, leave everyone else out?' They say 'Yeah, I'd do it in a heartbeat,"' he said.
Charlie Jasmer, 59, a former Minnesota milk truck driver who won a $5 million Powerball jackpot in 1997, even has tickets for Saturday's jackpot, but hopes a group wins rather than an individual.
"It'd be better to make a bunch of people happy instead of one person miserable."
Powerball is played in 28 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is run by the Multi-State Lottery Association based in Des Moines, Iowa.