Nation & World

Winning ticket for $731 million Powerball prize sold in Maryland

Store owner Richard Ravenscroft talks on a phone Thursday inside the Coney Market in Lonaconing, Md., where a jackpot-wi
Store owner Richard Ravenscroft talks on a phone Thursday inside the Coney Market in Lonaconing, Md., where a jackpot-winning Powerball ticket worth $731 million was sold this week. (Colin Campbell/Baltimore Sun via AP)

DES MOINES — A Powerball ticket sold in Maryland is the winner of an estimated $731.1 million jackpot, the first to get the top prize in months.

Thanks to math and bad luck, lottery players had another shot at a giant jackpot Wednesday night that earlier had been estimated at $730 million, but it grew further based on final ticket sales. Following the win, the new jackpot drops to an estimated $20 million for the next drawing Saturday.

The winning ticket for Wednesday’s jackpot was sold in Lonaconing. Md., but additional details weren’t immediately available, the Maryland Lottery said in a statement.

Just who gets these riches may never be known: In Maryland, winners have the right to remain anonymous.

The Powerball jackpot was the fifth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever, and it came only a day after nobody won the even-larger Mega Millions prize, which now stands at $970 million.

Winning numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.

It was the first time both lottery jackpots topped $700 million. The biggest prize was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.

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No one had won either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

The prizes listed are for winners who choose an annuity option, paid over 30 years. Most winners opt for cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be $716.3 million and $546.8 million for Wednesday’s Powerball.

After the Powerball win, the new jackpot has a $15 million cash value.

Those prizes also would be subject to federal taxes, and most states would take a cut as well.

Mega Millions and Powerball are played in 45 states and in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.

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