Powerball: Pa. ticket just missed $336.4 million

Posted: February 13, 2012

While making a run at the all-time record jackpots, Powerball may have shattered a non-jackpot one:

Most $1 million prizes.

Eleven players, including someone in Pennsylvania, won that amount by matching the first five numbers drawn Saturday night - 1, 10, 37, 52 and 57.

They missed only the Powerball, which was 11.

The Pennsylvania ticket was sold at the Convenient Food Mart, 330 Northern Blvd., in Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County. New York had two such winners. South Carolina, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon each had one.

A Rhode Island ticket didn't miss any numbers, snagging a jackpot that wound up worth $336.4 million as an annuity, or about $210 million cash - a new record for Powerball.

As a result, Wednesday's jackpot will reboot to the game's new minimum of $40 million. Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot, building for three weeks, will be worth $50 million because no one matched the numbers: 3, 4, 18, 29 and 50, with a Mega Ball of 20.

Only two Powerball jackpots ever higher annuities before Saturday's drawing.

It was the sixth biggest annuity for any North American lottery. Mega Millions has the record: $390 million, set in March 2007. (See link to list of 25 biggest jackpots at right.)

If Powerball had rolled over, it have might rewritten the record books, since it had already risen $86.4 million in just three days, and the bigger lotteries get, the faster they rise.

Mega Millions skyrocketed $115 million on its way to its $390 million jackpot in 2007.

Powerball's record jump between drawings was $98.6 million, set in late December 2002, on its way to $314.9 million, according to www.lottostrategies.com.

Winning $1 million became much easier on Jan. 15, when Powerball not only raised the ticket price to $2, but boosted other prizes.

Previously, to automatically win $1 million, players had to match five while also having the $1 Power Play multiplier option.

Before January 2009, $1 million was possible only if the Power Play came up as a 5.

Checking back to late 2008 turns up only one drawing that produced more than five millionaires - Dec. 1, 2010, which minted nine.

Even bigger numbers of millionaires are possible.

If the new rules had been in effect for that 2010 drawing, it would have spawed 25 millionaires.

That many matched five without the Power Play.

Not until January 2010 did Mega Millions players outside Texas get the chance to automatically win $1 million with a multiplier option called the Megaplier.

For more on lotteries, go to www.philly.com/philly/news/lotteries, www.palottery.com, and www.njlottery.net.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.


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