The winning Powerball ticket has been sold, and a lucky winner from Chino Hills is now $1.6 billion richer.
After Wednesday’s winning Powerball numbers were picked, lottery officials from California quickly announced that a winning ticket had been sold at a 7-11 in Chino Hills. Within minutes, the store was mobbed with people and news crews, as people scrambled to catch a glimpse of history.
News crews taping the scene from a helicopter caught the madness, with cars clogging the parking lot and people milling around the store, taking pictures. The store itself is getting a nice windfall. Lottery officials said it will receive a $1 million prize for selling the winning ticket.
The winning Powerball numbers picked on Wednesday were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and the Powerball 10.
— Arthur Partridge (@AyPee) January 14, 2016
Frenzy scene outside the Chino Hills 7-eleven where winning powerball jackpot ticket was sold pic.twitter.com/YozczVjKGr
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) January 14, 2016
There could still be more winners to split the Powerball jackpot, lottery officials said. In past instances of mega jackpots, it can take several hours or even up to a day before the locations of all the winning tickets are identified.
The Powerball jackpot had already soared past the all-time lottery record by the time of Saturday’s drawing, and when no winners were picked the total prize crossed into 10 digits for the first time ever.
Lottery officials said that sales for the Powerball jackpot were “off the chart.” As FiveThirtyEight noted earlier in the week, it was almost certain that a winning Powerball ticket would be sold.
“Here’s where we stand: based on the old forecast — the one we used for Friday’s estimate — we’d estimate about 1.008 billion tickets will be sold for Wednesday’s jackpot. Based on that number — which is totally unprecedented and based on far too much extrapolation, keep in mind — we’d estimate a 97 percent chance of at least one winner on Wednesday’s drawing.”
There is not yet any information on the Powerball winner, and given the location there is a chance it was someone from out of state — or even out of the country. Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, but it’s legal for people in the six non-participating states to buy tickets if they care to make the drive. The games are even open to non-U.S. citizens, as long as they buy the ticket from a state that participates.
Powerball ticket locations near border areas say they saw an increase in people making the trek to buy tickets.
William Burke told the Associated Press that he drove 45 minutes from his home in Nevada to the California border, then waited in line another three hours to buy 10 tickets for $20.
“I thought maybe I’d be part of history,” Burke said.
Some even came from outside the country.
“There are a lot of them coming over, a lot of them in the lineup,” Jim Murphy, an employee at the Wedge Discount Liquor Store in Niagara Falls, New York, told Reuters on Wednesday.
The person holding the winning ticket for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing will take home about $560 million, after the federal government takes its 40 percent cut.
Whoever had the winning Powerball ticket on Wednesday, their win prevented someone from becoming even richer. Lottery officials had said that if there were no winner in Wednesday’s drawing, the total Powerball jackpot would have shot up to more than $2 billion.
If there are any other winning tickets for the Powerball jackpot, lottery officials are likely to announce sometime on Thursday.
[Picture by Scott Olson/Getty Images]