A sign displays the Powerball prizes at a Chicago convenience store on Saturday. A store in New Hampshire sold the winning ticket for the jackpot, which turned out to be $559.7 million. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)
One Powerball ticket holder in New Hampshire is the winner of the nearly $560 million jackpot prize, one of the largest in the multistate lottery’s history.
New Hampshire Lottery said this is the second time within the past year and a half that a ticket holder from the state won the Powerball jackpot. The winning ticket, which matched all six numbers (12-29-30-33-61-26) drawn on Saturday night, was sold at a store in Merrimack, N.H., less than 30 miles from the capital city of Concord.
Lottery officials initially estimated the jackpot to be $570 million, but the actual prize when the winning numbers were drawn Saturday turned out to be $559.7 million, the Associated Press reported. More than 4 million tickets, including the jackpot winner, won prizes from Saturday’s drawing.
The ticketholder, or holders, can choose the annuity option, in which payments are made over 30 years, with each annual payment increasing over time. Most, however, choose the cash option. In this case, take-home cash would be $358.5 million.
Last year, a woman from Chicopee, Mass., won the $758 million Powerball jackpot and received a lump-sum payment of $480 million after choosing the cash option. In 2016, three winners from California, Florida and Tennessee split a jackpot prize of nearly $1.6 billion. That same year, another New Hampshire player won the $487 million jackpot.
The game started as Lotto America in the late 1980s and was changed and renamed Powerball in the early 1990s. It’s one of two big jackpot games played in 44 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The other one, Mega Millions, found a winner Friday. A single Mega Millions ticket holder in Florida won the $450 million jackpot prize, the fourth-biggest in the multistate lottery’s 15-year-old history. The winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Port Richey, a Gulf Coast town northwest of Tampa, according to Florida Lottery.
The winning Mega Millions numbers, drawn Friday night, were 28, 30, 39, 59, 70 and 10. Payments under the annuity option, with each annual payment 5 percent bigger than the previous one, would be made over 29 years. The one-time cash payment would yield $281 million.
This win comes just a few years after another Florida winner split a sizable haul with a winner from Maryland. Winners from the two states won the $414 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2014.
A total of nearly 3 million tickets, including the Mega Millions jackpot winner, won prizes Friday.
The odds of winning jackpot prizes in both games were astronomical. For the Powerball jackpot, they were 1 in 292 million. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were worse: 1 in 302.6 million, according to CNN Money.
The prizes for both lotteries are back down to $40 million, with drawings scheduled Tuesday for Mega Millions and Wednesday for Powerball.
All lottery winnings are subject to a 25 percent federal tax withholding, The Washington Post’s Jonnelle Marte writes. Most states also charge taxes, some up to 9 percent.
New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia are among the worst places to win a lottery. Maryland, for instance, withholds 8.75 percent for residents and 7 percent for nonresidents. But winners in 10 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, could walk away with bigger winnings because those jurisdictions don’t charge taxes on lottery winnings, Marte wrote. New Hampshire and Florida are among them.