Two tickets share record $588 million U.S. Powerball win

PHOENIX Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:33am GMT

1 of 6. A shopkeeper waits for customers to buy tickets for the Powerball lottery in New York, November 28, 2012. Dreams of vast riches from a record Powerball lottery jackpot of more than half-a-billion dollars prompted a frenzy of ticket-buying across the United States ahead of Wednesday's draw, and continued heavy sales were nudging the payout even higher.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Winning tickets bought in Arizona and Missouri matched numbers drawn for a record Powerball lottery jackpot of $588 million (£367.2 million), the Multi-State Lottery Association said.

Holders of the two winning tickets in the Wednesday night draw will share an estimated $385 million after tax if they opt to take it as a lump sum. Alternatively, the $588 million can be paid out to them as annuities over three decades, the association said.

The drawing took place at 10:59 p.m. EST, with winning numbers 5 16 22 23 29, and a Powerball of 6. The Association did not say if the ticket holders had come forward yet to claim their vast cash prizes.

Powerball spokeswomen in Arizona and Missouri did not immediately respond to emails seeking further details on the winners.

The popular lottery - which is played in 42 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands - had not had a winner for two months. After no one won the top prize in Saturday's drawing, the pot had grown by about $263 million to $578.5 million amid a rush to buy tickets.

The previous Powerball top prize of $365 million was won in 2006 by ConAgra slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. The largest-ever U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing, was shared by three winning tickets last March.

Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, where Powerball is based, said lottery officials had received calls and emails from people around the world asking if they can buy a ticket. They cannot.

There have been nearly 300 jackpot winners over the past 20 years, taking home payouts of over $11.6 billion.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Idaho, Teresa Carson in Oregon,; Keith Coffman in Colorado,; Paul Ingram in Tucson, Jonathan Kaminsky in Washington state, Dave Warner in Philadelphia and Nick Carey in Illinois; Writing by Peter Rudegeair and Tim Gaynor; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Peter Cooney)

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