Drawing Held, But No Winning Tickets Sold; Powerball Jackpot Soars To $475 Mil
Updated at 12:19 a.m., May 16, 2013
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – CBS 2 has confirmed that the Powerball jackpot, which had been roughly $360 million, will soar to $475 million because not one winning ticket was sold in advance of Wednesday’s drawing.
The next drawing will be held Saturday, with a cash value of $302.4 million, lottery officials said.
Wednesday’s jackpot was considered the third largest Powerball jackpot and the seventh largest jackpot in history. The numbers drawn just before 11 p.m. were: 2, 11, 26, 34, 41 and Powerball 32.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported earlier in the day, the dreams for a big win were all long shots.
“I would get a lot of cash and take a bath in $100 bills,” one person in line said.
Musician Quay Thomas was thinking about a dream guitar.
“This one’s about $7,600; almost $8,000,” he said.
Doorman David Nieves of Bushwick, Brooklyn, said he knows what he would buy first.
“I’m going to get a foot massage for sure,” he said.
Some dreams were far loftier. Anna Jimenez of Corona, Queens, wants a big house with 10 bedrooms, five bathrooms and a pool – in Ohio, of all places.
She said she wants to skip to the Buckeye State because “here everybody’s going to know me. They are going to say, ‘Can I get some money from you?’”
And while Joe Cervasio of Midtown would “give a lot of it back to who needs it,” he would also hire, ”a personal tattoo artist to do whatever I want.”
Lottery officials expect jackpot totals of this size to continue to climb in shorter amounts of time, thanks in part to a game redesign in January 2012 that increased the odds of winning some kind of prize, but also lowered the possible number combinations to win the Powerball.
The redesign means players don’t necessarily have to strike big to get lucky. A $1 increase and new $1 million and $2 million prizes means the odds of winning something have increased.
“A dream and a dollar, a dollar and a dream,” one man told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
“Every time it climbs I get excited,” a woman added.
“Some people buy $100, $50, crazy!” bodega worker Syad James told Jiang.
Just last Saturday, there was no Powerball jackpot winner, but more than a dozen tickets won $1 million prizes in 10 states.
And there’s no shortage of people willing to try their luck and find out.
“I’ve already played $20 today,” one person said.
“I know, rationally, it makes no sense,” another man said. “But at the same time, without a ticket, I have zero chance.”
In fact, more than half of the all-time jackpot records have been reached in the last three years. The top two all-time jackpots, $656 million from a Mega Millions jackpot and $587.5 million from a Powerball jackpot, were achieved in 2012.
Still, some locals are sitting this one out.
“It’s never a New Yorker. It’s always somebody in Wisconsin or down south,” one woman told Jiang.
In fact, the last major jackpot win came in New Jersey when Bodega owner Pedro Quezada won a $338.3 million jackpot on March 23. It is now considered the fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history.
The opportunity to strike it rich is tantalizing. Last year alone, Americans spent $78 billion on lottery tickets — more than they spent on music and movie tickets combined.
But financial experts warn against getting caught up in the lottery craze.
“It’s a vicious circle here — lotteries hurt poor people, no question about it. People who can least afford tickets are the ones who buy the most tickets,” said financial expert Melody Hobson.
Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot was to have a $229.2 million cash value.
Mega Millions has also skyrocketed to an estimated $190 million. That jackpot has a $140 million cash value. The next Mega Millions drawing is set for Friday night.
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