Powerball jackpot hits $750 million, the third-largest ever

Powerball jackpot hits $750 million, the third-largest ever
A customer checks a Powerball ticket at a Bucky’s on Oct. 16. The $750 million jackpot (or $465.5 million for the cash option) for Wednesday's drawing is the third-highest in the history of the game. Z. LONG/THE WORLD-HERALD

Through 25 semiweekly drawings, nobody has won the Powerball lottery’s top prize yet in 2019.

As a result, the drawing for Wednesday’s jackpot of $750 million (or $465.5 million for the cash option) is the third-highest in the history of the game, which dates to 1992. The last one to come close was in October, when the Powerball hit $688 million. A woman from Redfield, Iowa, won half of that jackpot.

Powerball ticket sales in Nebraska totaled $1.8 million for the week ending Saturday, said Neil Watson, a Nebraska Lottery spokesman. That was up from $1.1 million the week before. Figures aren’t yet available for this week, he said, but almost 113,000 people bought Powerball tickets from Sunday through midday Tuesday.

“Obviously, something has captured people’s attention,” Watson said. The next drawing will be at 9:59 p.m. Wednesday.

In the week before the October jackpot, Nebraska Powerball sales hit $2.5 million.

Watson said sales in Nebraska appear to have been depressed somewhat because of bad weather on several weekends in February and early March, culminating in the “bomb cyclone” that contributed to massive floods almost two weeks ago. Twenty out of about 1,200 lottery retailers were down during that storm, he said.

Over the years, 10 jackpots ranging from $2.5 million to $365 million have been won in Nebraska since the Nebraska Lottery began offering Powerball in July 1994. The largest Powerball jackpot won in Nebraska was in February 2006, when a group of eight co-workers at the ConAgra Foods ham and corned beef plant in Lincoln split a $365 million jackpot.

In 2004, Jacquelyn Moore of Omaha won a $14.4 million jackpot on a ticket purchased in Iowa.

Last weekend was a good one for players of other Nebraska Lottery games, Watson said. Winning tickets were sold for three of them:

  • A $130,000 Nebraska Pick 5 ticket was sold Sunday in Bennet, Nebraska.
  • A $22,000 ticket for Saturday’s 2by2 drawing was sold in Lynch, Nebraska.
  • A prize of $25,000 a year for life was sold for Monday’s multistate Lucky For Life in Spalding, Nebraska.

Those prizes hadn’t yet been claimed Tuesday afternoon, Watson said.

In Iowa, time is running out for a winner to claim a $1 million Powerball prize from the April 11, 2018, drawing. The ticket was sold at a Casey’s General Store in Nevada, Iowa. The deadline to claim the prize is 4 p.m. April 11, 2019.

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