A Sanford, Florida, teen won $2 million in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing with someone else’s discarded bet slip. Frederick Walker, 19, also confirmed it was the first time he ever played the lottery.
Prior to Wednesday’s drawing, the Powerball jackpot reached a record $1.6 billion. Although the the odds were against a vast majority of the players, more than 600 million tickets were sold for the January 13 drawing.
USA Today reported 635,103,137 tickets were sold between January 9 and 13. Each ticket had a 1 in 292 million chance of hitting all five numbers and the Powerball number.
However, Powerball offers more than one way to win with other prizes ranging from $4 to $1,000,000. If the player chooses the PowerPlay option, which costs an additional $1, those amounts are doubled.
Although the odds were against him, the Sanford, Florida, teen Frederick Walker said he was willing to take the risk.
WCTV reports Walker never purchased a lottery ticket prior to January 13. However, the teen said he “decided to try [his] luck and buy a ticket.” Despite his interest in playing the Powerball game, Frederick was unsure which numbers to choose.
Thankfully, luck was on the Sanford, Florida, teen’s side. When he walked into the Lake Mary Sav-A-Ton, “here was already a completed play slip at the playstation.” Walker turned the slip in to the clerk and paid $3 for one set of numbers plus the PowerPlay option.
Frederick Walker’s luck continued as the ticket contained five of the winning numbers. Although his Powerball number was not drawn, the ticket was worth $2 million. As they sold the winning ticket, the Sav-A-Ton also won $5,000.
Walker was one of eight players to win the $2 million prize. According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, a total of 26,110,646 players won between $4 and $533 Million in Wednesday’s drawing. Although the jackpot was $1.6 billion, the prize will be split three ways.
According to reports, the winning Powerball tickets were sold in California, Tennessee, and Florida. Officials have not released the identities of any winners. However, numerous people have stepped forward claiming they matched all five numbers and the Powerball.
On Friday, the Robinson family of Munford, Tennessee, appeared on the Today show claiming they purchased a winning ticket. Although the Robinsons have not been in contact with state lottery officials, and Today could not confirm their win, they insist they possess one of the winning tickets.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 15, 2016
CNN reports, the family simply wanted “to let the American public know they’re the winners.” However, their claim seems suspicious, as they went public about their win prior to contacting Tennessee lottery officials for verification.
As reported by Yahoo, winners have one year to contact the lottery commission and present their winning ticket. At this time, none of Wednesday’s winners have contacted the commission or officially verified their winning tickets.
Without verification of the winners’ identities, pranks have been played by, and on, several people.
Catfish or Powerball winner? Internet freaks out over skateboarder Erik Bragg’s claim https://t.co/tHwEQmPtoH https://t.co/0kgIeDE2w7
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 14, 2016
Philanthropist Shlomo Rechnitz, who owns the Park Avenue Health & Wellness Center in Pamona, California, purchased Powerball tickets for each of his 15,000 employees.
On Wednesday evening, one of the center’s nurses received a call from her son, who claimed she won the Powerball lottery. As reported by Huffington Post, the young man sent his mother a photo of the “winning ticket” to further perpetuate the cruel hoax.
Although she was elated, the 62-year-old woman completed her shift at the nursing home. Upon returning home, she learned she was the victim of a cruel prank.
Shlomo Rechnitz’s spokesman Josh Nass said the nurse is “a wonderful lady, and an incredible employee.” He called the heartless hoax “reprehensible.”
The Sanford, Florida, teen’s $2 million Powerball win has been verified and is not a hoax. The teen said it is incredible that he actually won the lottery the first time he played, using numbers someone else had chosen and discarded.
[Image via Shutterstock/kasezo]