There was an outpouring of excitement after the winning ticket for the $1.765 billion Powerball jackpot was sold at a liquor store in a California mountain town on Thursday.
Wednesday night’s drawing ended a long drought without a top prize winner and brought news media to Midway Market & Liquor in Fraser Park, a community of 2,600 residents about 75 miles north of Los Angeles.
“This is the most exciting news that’s ever happened to Fraser Park,” said Nidal Khalil, a co-owner of the store.
The winner didn’t appear to him, he said, adding that he hoped it would be one of his regulars. Most are local retirees, he said.
The winning numbers were 22, 24, 40, 52, 64 and Powerball 10. In California, lottery winner names must be disclosed. The store will receive $1 million for selling the lucky tickets.
When store clerk Janea Herrera learned the winning ticket was being sold at a store six miles from the nearest interstate, she initially thought it was a joke. She said she didn’t know who bought the ticket, but noted that most of the customers were local regulars.
“We’re not that close to the highway, so you have to go out of your way to get here,” Herrera said.
“It’s a close-knit community and everyone knows everyone,” she said, describing Fraser Park as “very quiet and beautiful and you can see the stars at night.”
Before someone won the big prize, there had been 35 consecutive drawings without a win, dating back to July 19, when a player in California matched all six numbers and won $1.08 billion. The latest consecutive draw trailed the previous record of 41 draws set in 2021 and 2022.
Final ticket sales pushed the jackpot past the previously announced estimate of $1.73 billion, making it the second-largest lottery prize in the world. The only bigger jackpot was the $2.04 billion Powerball won by a player in California last November.
With odds of 1 in 292.2 million, Powerball’s terrifying odds are designed to produce huge jackpots that keep rolling over when no one wins, getting bigger and bigger. Wins have been few and far between in recent months.
That doesn’t faze those eager to invest large sums of money ahead of Wednesday’s draw in the hope of instant wealth.
Robert Salvato Jr., a 60-year-old electrician, purchased 40 Powerball tickets at a hardware store in Billerica, Massachusetts.
“I take care of my family and give my cat the extra leg she needs to be a good cat,” said Salvatore, who got married on Saturday.
“I thought I could put a ring on every finger of hers,” Salvatore said of his new wife.
Nevada is one of five states without Powerball, so Tamara Carter and Dennis Davis drove from Las Vegas to California to buy tickets. At their first stop, the line was so long that the friends had to find another store.
“The line was about three hours long,” Carter estimated. “I waited for about half an hour and it didn’t move.”
In most states, a Powerball ticket costs $2, and players can choose their own numbers or leave that task to the computer.
The $1.765 billion jackpot is awarded to the sole winner who chooses to be paid out through an annuity, which is payable over a period of 30 years. The winner almost always chooses the cash option, with the prize estimated at $774.1 million.
Winnings are subject to federal taxes, and many states also tax lottery winnings.
Powerball is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.