|For Immediate Release||Contact: Mike Lang (217) 524-5158 Chanele Newton (312) 368-5814|
Chicago, IL, November 26, 2012— The Powerball jackpot now stands at an historic $425 million for Wednesday night’s drawing, making this the largest Powerball jackpot ever and the second jackpot in U.S. history to exceed $400 million. If a single player claims Wednesday’s jackpot, it will be the largest prize ever awarded by a Lottery.
The previous record jackpot was the March 30, 2012, Mega Millions $656 million jackpot that was split three ways with Illinoisan Merle Butler from Red Bud winning a third of the prize –nearly $119 million.
Back in early April, all eyes were on the southern Illinois town of Red Bud, waiting to meet the Mega Millions winner. The manager from the MotoMart convenience store that sold the winning ticket recalls the buzz last spring from the historic Mega Millions run for tickets.
"That week was magic, really busy; we had to add staff to keep up with sales. We must have doubled normal lottery sales during that last three days,” said manager Denise Metzger. “Then we found out we sold one of the winning tickets! It was so exciting! People called us from all over the world for interviews. Everybody wanted to know who bought the winning ticket. It was absolute madness for days and days. The town finally printed up t-shirts that read: ‘Yes, I am from Red Bud! No, I am not the winner!’ And, then we found out it was one of our neighbors. It proves that Anything's Possible."
Today, the MotoMart electronic marquee reads, “Red Bud: Let’s Do it Again! Powerball $425 Million; Lightning Can Strike Twice!”
Since this Powerball jackpot began to roll on October 6, Illinois has had three $1 million winners, twenty $10,000 winners, and over 400,000 winners of prizes between $100 and $4. In tune with other holiday sales trends, Powerball sales for Black Friday topped $1.5 million, with sales for the past week up over 80 percent from last week to $10.3 million.
“It’s such a wonderful time of year, and to think that the lottery is making it possible for someone to win almost a half a billion dollars is the stuff dreams are made of,” said Illinois Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “Good luck and Happy Holidays to everyone who buys a $2 Powerball ticket for Wednesday night’s drawing. And, indeed, it could happen in Red Bud again!”
Since Illinois introduced this multi-state lottery game, Powerball has contributed an estimated $120 million to the Illinois Common School Fund and Capital Projects Fund.
QUICK POWERBALL FACTS
· Introduced in Illinois on January 31, 2010
· Current jackpot at $425 million; cash value of $278.3 million; after withholding: $194.8 million
· Overall odds of winning the jackpot 1:175,000,000
· Drawings are at 9:59 PM (CT) every Wednesday and Saturday
· Powerball is played in 44 lottery jurisdictions across the country
· Jackpots start at $40 million
· Last payout was a winner from Delaware who won $50 million on October 3rd.
About Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed $17.5 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old.