DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It’s all about the odds, and one single ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials disclosed Sunday.
The lone winner was sold at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla., according to Florida Lottery executive Cindy O’Connell. She told The Associated Press by telephone that more details would be released later.
“This would be the sixth Florida Powerball winner and right now, it’s the sole winner of the largest ever Powerball jackpot,” O’Connell told AP. “We’re delighted right now that we have the sole winner.”
She said Florida has had more Powerball winners than any other state.
The winner was not immediately identified publicly and O’Connell did not give any indication just hours after Saturday’s drawing whether anyone had already stepped forward with that winning ticket.
With four out of every five possible combinations of Powerball numbers in play, lottery executives said earlier that someone was almost certain to win the game’s highest jackpot, a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars — and that’s after taxes.
Saturday night’s winning numbers were 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball of 11.
Estimates had earlier put the jackpot at around $600 million. But Powerball’s online site said early Sunday that its latest tabulations of all tickets sold put that jackpot at an estimated $590.5 million.
Terry Rich, CEO of the Iowa Lottery, initially confirmed that one Florida winning ticket had been sold. He told AP that following a winner, the Powerball grand prize was being reset at an estimated jackpot of $40 million, or about $25.1 million cash value.
The chances of winning the prize were astronomically low: 1 in 175.2 million. That’s how many different ways you can combine the numbers when you play. But lottery officials estimated that about 80 percent of those possible combinations had been purchased recently.
While the odds are low for any one individual or individuals, O’Connell said, the chance that one hits paydirt is what makes Powerball an “exciting game to play.”
“There is just the chance that you will have the opportunity and Florida is a huge Powerball state. We have had more winners than any other state that participates in Powerball.”
Such longshot odds didn’t deter people across Powerball-playing states — 43 plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands — from lining up at gas stations and convenience stores Saturday for their chance at striking it filthy rich.