The winning numbers for Monday night’s Powerball drawing were: 13-19-36-39-59 and a Powerball 13. The estimated jackpot soared to just under $1 billion, the second-highest prize in the game’s history.
People looked forward to buying the winning ticket at convenience stores, grocery stores and gas stations across the country on Halloween.
Among them was Janice Turner, one of a steady line of people — some in costume — buying Powerball tickets at an outdoor kiosk in midtown Manhattan.
“I hope to be the next billionaire,” Turner said. “I guess it’ll be a lucky Halloween.”
Along the same lines, Scott Henyon was already making plans to hit the jackpot.
“I’ll definitely retire, finish my house, maybe buy another house, buy a couple of nice cars, take a nice vacation,” he said. “And then probably set up all my friends and family for the rest of their lives and travel the world, you know, do whatever I want.”
In Houston, Candy Dumas, 60, a real estate home stager, said she came to the Super K grocery store because she paid more.
“If I’m lucky tonight, the first thing I’m going to do is give some to my church,” Dumas said. “The second thing is to buy a house for my kids. That’s what I want to do to definitely help my family.”
Guru Rede, the store’s clerk, said people come from miles around to the store because it has a history of selling big jackpot winners and because people want to own expensive items they can’t afford.
Dozens of people, including Aurelia Pearson, lined up to buy tickets Monday at the Bluebird Liquor Store in Hawthorne, California, which also has a name as a fortune store.
“It’s a good place to come,” Pearson said. “When it’s a good place to come, you just have to come and play, keep your mind on it, stay positive and things will happen to you.”
And Sally Tanner said she would give most of her winnings after buying her a house and paying for her son’s college expenses.
“We’re in a recession right now,” Tanner said. “The economy is bad, so I’ll be a giver. I’m a giver, but I’ll keep some for ourselves. I think my cup is full, but when it’s full, I’ll bless others.”
The jackpot went up when no one matched all six numbers Saturday night drawing. It is the fifth largest lottery jackpot in US history. The biggest prize in 2016 was the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won by three ticket holders.
No one hit all six numbers since August 3, a testament to how slim the odds of winning the jackpot are: 1 in 292.2 million.
Monday’s biggest jackpot comes less than two years after another lottery hit $1 billion. One ticket will match all six numbers drawn on January 22, 2021 in the Mega Millions Lottery to win the $1.05 billion jackpot.
Massive lottery jackpots have become more common in recent years as lottery officials tweak game rules and ticket prices to increase top prizes. The most recent changes came in August when Powerball officials added an extra drawing day — from two drawings to three a week — in an effort to create bigger prizes and boost sales.
Although the odds of winning are extremely low, the chances of someone – or even multiple players – coming up with the winning numbers are increasing. Because as the jackpot grows, more and more people pony up to play.
The $1 billion jackpot prize is available to winners who choose to take the entire amount in installments over 29 annual payments. Almost all winners opt for the lower cash prize, which is estimated at $497.3 million for Monday’s drawing.
Once a winning ticket is matched to a drawing, the Powerball jackpot starts again at $20 million and continues to grow until each drawing is won.
Powerball is played in 45 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.