Ernest Jones, a Powerball winner from Smyth County, Virginia, was surprised when he went to the Virginia Lottery to collect his winning check. According to a news release by the Virginia Lottery, Jones purchased a Powerball ticket and matched four of the white balls and the Powerball. The prize for the win is normally $50,000, but when Jones arrived to claim his winnings, he was surprised to be presented with a check for $150,000. The increase was due to Jones’ purchase of the Power Play option that multiplied his winning by three times. Ernest Jones won the third-tier prize for the Feb. 3, 2016, Powerball game. The jackpot prize was $112 million and the winning numbers were 26, 28, 31, 60, and 67. The Powerball was 23.
— Mary Turner (@thesaleswhopper) February 7, 2016
The Virginia Lottery didn’t say why Jones was surprised or if he forgot that he paid the extra dollar for the Power Play multiplier, but nonetheless, the report is that he was utterly surprised at the amount he received when he picked up his check for $150,000. Jones’ story is a good reminder of how you can win a nice sum of cash while playing jackpot lottery games like Powerball and Mega Millions, without necessarily winning the jackpot. The odds of winning the match 4 and the Powerball are 1 in 913,129.18. Compared to the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, these are rather good. Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.
The Virginia Lottery has been busy handing out checks to a number of lucky winners, and they also embraced the Valentine’s Day weekend by giving away chances to win chocolates.
— Virginia Tourism (@VisitVirginia) February 10, 2016
— Virginia Lottery (@VirginiaLottery) February 11, 2016
Powerball has enjoyed renewed interest since the epic $1.58 billion jackpot on Jan. 13, 2016, which resulted in three winning jackpot tickets. There are nine ways to win Powerball, and non-jackpot prizes range from $4-$1,000,000 with the amounts being multiplied if the Power Play multiplier is used. Ernest Jones’ Powerball check was multiplied three times; however, there are other multipliers that can be drawn. The Power Play multipliers are 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 10x. The Power Play multiplier 10x has been drawn 10 times and the odds of drawing that multiplier are 1 in 43. The odds of drawing the 3x multiplier, as in Ernest Jones case, are 1 in 3.31.
Maybe what we can learn most of all from Ernest Jones is never to discount the possibility that you might actually win a Powerball prize. When you first play Powerball, you will need to choose between an Easy Pick ticket or selecting your own numbers to play. More people are winning prizes with Easy Pick tickets these days and it is becoming a popular choice. The media announcement does not reveal whether Ernets Jones used an Easy Pick or selected his own ticket, but we can tell by his surprise that he didn’t factor in the amount he’d win by using the Power Play multiplier.
Once you play your ticket, it’s important to sign the back of it and keep it in a safe place. This helps to prevent it from being stolen, damaged, or lost. Thankfully, Ernest Jones did not lose or have a damaged Powerball ticket, and he was just unclear as to how much he had actually won.
RT charissemarie Protect your lottery ticketshttps://t.co/zs9CBrDtJN
— John Harris (@winthenextlotto) February 6, 2016
When asked how he felt about winning $150,000, Ernest Jones simply said, “I feel wonderful.”
We can only imagine how wonderful it would be to have won $50,000, but to arrive to pick up your winnings and find out you actually won $150,000 has to be staggering.
Congratulations, Ernest Jones! Enjoy your Powerball winnings! Powerball drawings are held live from the Florida Lottery studios every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:00 p.m. ET. Check back with us for the live studio Powerball drawing!
[Photo by Alex Brandon/AP Images]