Powerball jackpot nears nears half a billion dollars in year’s largest prize yet

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(NEW YORK) — The largest Powerball jackpot so far this year keeps climbing: It closed in on half a billion dollars just in time for Saturday night’s drawing.

At $495 million, the cash value of the jackpot for a single winner who chooses a lump-sum prize would be $300.2 million. It’s the eighth largest Powerball jackpot in history.

Powerball drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday evening at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

On Wednesday, no one claimed the winning combination — 18-36-45-47-69 — according to the Powerball website.

While the $448 million jackpot went unclaimed, two people in New York won $1 million after matching the first five numbers. In Florida, one person matched the first five numbers to win the same amount, but was able to double their prize to a total of $2 million because they purchased the Power Play option, according to the Powerball site.

Winners can take up to 180 days to claim their prize, and some can handle the delay.

It took 132 days for the winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot to claim her prize from the South Carolina Education Lottery. South Carolina is a state that allows winners to stay anonymous.

On Thursday, the lucky lady revealed more details about her winning situation through her lawyer, Jason Kurland. She didn’t enjoy billionaire status for long; she chose the cash one-time payment of $877,784,124, the largest prize for a single winner in U.S. history.

The South Carolinian’s path into lotto history started when she drove past a KC Mart on a scenic trip to Greenville, South Carolina, Kurland said in a statement released on Thursday.

The store’s signs about the jackpot caught her eye and she stopped to buy a ticket. She knew that she had won since the morning after the drawing, according to the statement.

“I hired a team with experience handling large jackpot winners,” the winner said. “I want to make sure I make all of the right decisions, which is why I have taken this amount of time to collect my prize.”

“Words can’t describe the feeling of such incredible luck,” she continued. “I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart.”

Kurland said she wanted to show her appreciation to her home state of South Carolina and the city of Simpsonville by providing charitable donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia, South Carolina, One SC Fund for Hurricane Florence Relief, In The Middle of Columbia, the City of Simpsonville Art Center and the American Red Cross Alabama Region Tornado Relief Fund.

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