Powerball officials say tickets sold in Arizona and Missouri matched all six numbers to win the record the record $579.9 million jackpot. Now the hunt for the winners begins.
Early Thursday morning officials confirmed that two winning tickets had been sold. A lottery official said late Wednesday that the jackpot increased to $579.9 million by the time of the drawing, making the cash option $379.8 million.
The numbers drawn Wednesday night are: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.
Georgia Lottery players also won big.
David Jackson of Riverdale won $1 million in the drawing. He claimed his prize at Georgia Lottery headquarters Thursday. Georgia Food Mart #0001, located at 377 Highway 138 S.W. in Riverdale, sold the lucky ticket.
One player in Georgia multiplied a $10,000 prize to $40,000 with the Power Play option. The ticket was purchased at Chevron Food Mart, 2140 Fairburn Road, Douglasville.
Thirty-three Georgia players won $10,000 prizes in: Alpharetta, Atlanta (3), Brunswick, Cedartown, Columbus, Conyers (2), Cordele, Dallas (2), Duluth, Gainesville, Grovetown, Jonesboro (2), LaGrange, Lawrenceville, Leesburg, Marietta, Monroe, Newnan, Norcross, Pelham, Perry, Rising Fawn, Savannah (2), Smyrna, Sylvester, Valdosta and West Point.
Many other Georgia Lottery players won prizes ranging from $4 to $200.
Georgia students were also big winners with the Powerball roll yielding $16.9 million for the Georgia Lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs.
As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Powerball will benefit education in the state of Georgia.
Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.4 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.2 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.
Americans went on a ticket-buying spree in recent days, the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to purchase a shot at the second-largest payout in U.S. history.
Among them was Lamar Fallie, a jobless Chicago man who said his six tickets conjured a pleasant daydream: If he wins, he plans to take care of his church, make big donations to schools and then "retire from being unemployed."
Tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide - about six times the volume from a week ago. That pushed the jackpot even higher before the Wednesday night drawing, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association.
The jackpot had already rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner, but Powerball officials said earlier Wednesday they believed there was a 75 percent chance the winning combination will be drawn this time.