Millions of players took the chance with two dollars and their dreams. And it apparently paid.
Tickets in North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas won the Powerball jackpot estimated at $500 million, the Associated Press reported just after 1 a.m. Thursday.
At 10:59 p.m. Wednesday, when Powerball officials announced five numbers and a Powerball and a Power Play, virtually all of the players were left with their dreams.
How much money was being thrown around in the final hours? Stephen Martino, director of Maryland Lottery, tweeted that between 4 and 5 p.m. stores in Maryland sold 5,127 Powerball tickets per minute.
By 11 p.m., according to Jeff Holyfield of the Michigan Lottery, the jackpot had jumped to an estimated $564 million. That’s a cool $60 million or so for a few hours of chaos.
In all, Terry Rich, director of the Iowa Lottery and a spokesman for Powerball, said 125 million tickets were sold on Wednesday alone.
And what are the winning numbers, you ask? 11-13-25-39-54, with the Powerball at 19 and the Power Play at 3.
Had no one won the jackpot on Wednesday night, it would have rolled over to the next drawing, on Valentine’s Day. And because the loot grew so quickly, Holyfield said, a Valentine’s victory would probably have matched the biggest Powerball payout ever, which was about $590 million in 2013.
On Twitter, there was no shortage of plans for what people would do with their winnings
Powerball is played in more than 40 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.