No Powerball winner Saturday; jackpot now at record $425 million

Posted Nov. 24, 2012, at 11:07 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 25, 2012, at 6:31 a.m.
People wait in line to purchase lottery on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 in New York. The jackpot for Powerball's weekend drawing has climbed to $325 million, the fourth-largest in the game's history. Powerball organizers say this is the first run-up to a large jackpot that's fallen over a major holiday.
Bebeto Matthews | AP
People wait in line to purchase lottery on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 in New York. The jackpot for Powerball's weekend drawing has climbed to $325 million, the fourth-largest in the game's history. Powerball organizers say this is the first run-up to a large jackpot that's fallen over a major holiday.

DES MOINES, Iowa   — Lottery officials say nobody has won the Powerball jackpot and the top prize will now increase to about $425 million for the next drawing, the largest jackpot ever for the game.

Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said sales were strong over the holiday week for Saturday’s drawing, which was estimated at $325 million before the numbers were picked. That was the fourth-largest jackpot in the game’s history.

Neubauer says the jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing could go even higher than the estimated $425 million because sales pick up in the days before record drawings.

The previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by ConAgra Foods Workers in Lincoln, Neb.

The Powerball numbers for Saturday were 22-32-37-44-50, and the Powerball was 34.

Since Powerball tickets doubled in price to $2 in January, the number of tickets sold has decreased, but the sales revenue has made up for it, increasing by about 35 percent, said Norm Lingle, chairman of the Powerball board of directors.

And as the price went up, so did the jackpots, enticing thousands across the country to play.

“Christmas is coming and $325 million would come in handy,” said Tim Abel, 63, who was buying a Powerball ticket at New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. The Broadway stagehand said he usually plays whenever the jackpot goes over $100 million.

Recent Powerball winners include an Iowa couple that won a whopping $202 million on Sept. 26. A week later, a Delaware resident picked all six numbers for a $50 million payday.

Cashiers at a DeliMart convenience store in Iowa City said they expect a last-minute rush Saturday. The store sells $200 to $300 worth of Powerball tickets on an average day, but assistant manager Scott Falkenhan said he anticipates that will more than double.

Falkenhan, 32, was planning to buy his own ticket after his shift ended.

“I’d buy a new truck and a new boat,” he said. “Then I’d go on my own fishing tour.”

Frank Scorvino of Toms River, N.J., is in charge of buying lottery tickets — including Powerball — for a group of about a dozen fellow construction workers. If they win, he said, most of them would purchase new houses and cars, and some might go on a cruise.

South Bend, Ind., resident Dameon Smith says he’d retire from his job at the Hummer plant in Mishawaka, Ind. He said he’d share with family, friends and people he doesn’t know.

Chad Robinson, 41, a chef at a Cleveland restaurant, had an option during his break Friday: Put down $2 on Powerball game or go next door to Ohio’s first casino. He bet on the lottery, saying that much cash would change his life “drastically.”

“I figure I’ll make a lot of people happy with it, not just myself, spread the love and live my life out — parents, loved ones, kids, co-workers, charities,” he said.

Terry Fowler, 50, of Conneaut, Ohio, was visiting family in Tennessee for the holiday and stopped in a gas station in Brentwood on Friday morning to buy Powerball tickets. He’s a regular player.

“I want to see more than one person hit it so they can share the wealth,” said Fowler, a sales representative with a food service company. “I don’t think any one person needs $325 million. If 7-10 people hit that, they will live like kings.”

 

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