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Second-largest lottery jackpot in US history won

Oct 20, 2005, 9:34 am

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One ticket sold in Oregon matched all six numbers in Wednesday's Powerball drawing to win the $340 million jackpot, the second-largest ever in United States history.

The drawing capped off a day of heavy sales in all 27 states where Powerball is played, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was the largest jackpot in the game's history and the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday evening were 7, 21, 43, 44, 49 and 29.

There were 49 tickets sold that matched the first five numbers drawn but failed to match the Powerball to win $853,492.

The second prize was much larger than its normal $200,000 amount, due to a feature in Powerball that distributes much of the jackpot prize money down to the second prize when the jackpot reaches record levels.  The feature, called the Match 5 Bonus Prize, was put in use last night for the first time ever, even though the rule was added more than three years ago.

The Powerball jackpot had been snowballing since mid-August, with 20 straight drawings in which no one won the grand prize.

The prize goes to an estimated $15 million for Saturday.

There were a total of 49 tickets that matched the first five numbers, but missed the Powerball: 4 from Arizona, 2 from Colorado, 2 from Washington, D.C., 2 from Indiana, 1 from Iowa, 1 from Kansas, 4 from Kentucky (1 with Power Play), 3 from Louisiana, 4 from Minnesota, 3 from Missouri, 1 from New Hampshire, 4 from Oregon, 10 from Pennsylvania, 1 from Rhode Island, 3 from South Carolina, 1 from Vermont, 1 from U.S. Virgin Islands (with Power Play), 1 from West Virginia and 1 from Wisconsin.

The second prize winners who purchased the Power Play feature will receive a prize of $1,653,492 (before taxes).  The prize is calculated by taking the normal prize of $200,000, multiplying it by the Power Play number that was drawn (5), and then adding the Match 5 Bonus Prize money of $653,492.  The Match 5 Bonus Prize is not multiplied by Power Play.

Mary Neubauer, spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, said hundreds of ticket buyers had played a set of numbers from the ABC drama "Lost," which featured a character who won $156 million by playing a string of digits obtained from a patient in a mental institution: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.

"I just think it speaks to people's fascination with numbers and the what-if factor," Neubauer said.
The odds of hitting all six numbers were 1 in 146 million.

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