News

Powerball Jackpot Shoots Up To Incredible $550 Million

$350.1 Million Cash Value; 3 $1 Million Tickets Sold Wednesday In Tri-State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – No one won Wednesday’s $360 million Powerball jackpot, but three tickets sold in the Tri-State area are worth $1 million.

The jackpot soared to $550 million on Thursday after none of the tickets sold matched all the winning numbers in Wednesday night’s drawing.

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night: 2, 11, 26, 34, 41 and a Powerball of 32.

The next drawing will be held Saturday. The top prize has a $350.1 million cash option, lottery officials said.

The chances of winning this jackpot are so slight but the thought remains so sweet.

“I’d buy the whole world,” musician New Dotfeli told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin on Thursday.

We dream of the things we’ll do with the winnings — and what we won’t do.

Eddie Gonzalez told Carlin he’d stop driving a truck for a living. Eleta Stowers of the West Side urged caution.

“I wouldn’t go spend-crazy,” she said.

Others, however, told Carlin they certainly would.

“I believe I will give money to everyone I know,” store owner Hani Salib said. “We’ll go to Hawaii. We’ll go over. I will do a lot of great things for my family.”

“I’d pay my debts,” added Andrea Mazuera of the West Side.

“I’m going take a vacation, a month vacation,” said Freddie Rivera of Queens. “I’ll take a month because I’m loyal. I’ll come back, give something to my friends and then I’m outta here.”

According to the multi-state lottery’s website, a ticket worth $1 million was sold in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut prior to Wednesday’s drawing. A ticket that matches five numbers but not the Powerball is worth $1 million.

Tickets sold in 13 other states also sold a $1 million tickets. Two tickets, one sold in Pennsylvania and one in Delaware, matched five numbers and chose the Power Play option and are worth $2 million.

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.

There’s also “cross-selling” of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets – states being able to sell both Powerball tickets and Mega Millions tickets – that began in January 2010.

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.

The next Mega Millions drawing is set for Friday with an estimated jackpot of $190 million.

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