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One winning ticket in Florida for $590.5 million Powerball prize

A single winning ticket for a record Powerball lottery jackpot worth $590.5 million was sold in Florida, organizers said late Saturday, but there was no word about who won.

The winning numbers from Saturday night's drawing were: 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball number of 11.

The odds of winning were put at one in 175 million.

The winning ticket was sold at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, a suburb of Tampa, according to the Florida Lottery.

The prize tempted many Marylanders to buy tickets for the lottery game before the 11 p.m. drawing.

"We expect there will be brisk sales both [Friday and Saturday]," said Stephen L. Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, said Friday.

The grand prize, accumulated after two months of drawings, fell short of the $600 million sum lottery officials had been advertising. Organizers had said the final jackpot total could end up slightly higher or lower than expected depending on final sales reported by all 43 participating states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The only multi-state jackpot in the U.S. that was larger was the Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012, which reached $656 million before it was split by three winning tickets.

In that 2012 drawing, one of the winning tickets, sold at a 7-Eleven on Liberty Road in Milford Mill, was cashed in by three Maryland public-school educators. Those winners, who chose to remain anonymous, each chose $35 million lump-sum payments.

The cash option for Saturday's Powerball drawing is estimated at $376.9 million. It is the largest Powerball jackpot ever. According to the Maryland Lottery, "this jackpot has 'rolled' 13 times since April."

The Powerball game — five numbers selected from a drum of 59 white balls, plus one number selected from 35 red balls — is played twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday. Before Friday, Powerball's largest jackpot was $587 million. That prize was won in November.

The lack of a winner on Wednesday night left the pot at $475 million, which was bumped to $550 million Thursday afternoon and $600 Friday morning.

There was potential for it to be increased again before the drawing. The Maryland Lottery, like lottery offices in more than two dozen other states, continuously reports Powerball sales to the Iowa-based organization that oversees the game, Martino said.

The first Powerball drawing was held in 1992, but the game only came to Maryland in 2010. Since then, there have been two Powerball jackpot winners in Maryland.

"We have had a huge line all day," said Ali Rizbi, a sales clerk at a 7-Eleven on North Wolfe Street in East Baltimore, where people were still trickling in after 9 p.m. Friday. "That's the biggest rush we ever had."

Excitement around the large Powerball prize is likely to buoy Maryland Lottery revenue, which has been lagging this year, Martino said.

Sales last year were pumped up by the gigantic Mega Millions award and have not been matched so far in 2013, he said. The opening of Maryland Live casino has also had a draining effect on Keno and instant ticket sales, Martino said.

But from Monday through Thursday, the Maryland Lottery's sales numbers were $5 million greater than during the same week last year, he said.

"So much of lottery is an impulse buy," Martino explained, saying that many people who come in for a Powerball ticket are likely to buy tickets for other games.

On Friday night, a Mega Millions drawing was scheduled for a $190 million jackpot. Martino said some people pursuing Powerball tickets likely decided to try their had at that prize too. (Saturday update: Two jackpot winning tickets were sold for Friday's Mega Millions game, in New Jersey and Virginia.)

On Friday and Saturday, Maryland Lottery officials were focused on ensuring retailers had the support they needed — like a full supply of official ticket paper — to keep up with the projection-exceeding demand, Martino said.

Powerball ticket sales ended about one hour before the drawing.

Reuters contributed to this story.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

twitter.com/stevekilar

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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