Feb. 11, 2015. North Carolina players are among those buzzing nationwide about the Powerball jackpot as it grew Tuesday afternoon to a $485 million annuity, gaining ground on the game’s record of $590.5 million.
Depending on ticket sales, the jackpot could surpass $500 million before the drawing Wednesday night.
“We are excited for players in our state who have a chance to become North Carolina’s fourth Powerball jackpot winner,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery. “But we remind folks there are eight other ways to win on a ticket, so make sure to sign your tickets and check carefully to see if you won.”
In fact, over the past 20 drawings, North Carolina players have won more than $7.6 million. Four tickets matched all five white balls drawn to win $1 million each and 20 tickets matched four white balls and the red Powerball to win $10,000 or more.
Two of the $1 million-winning tickets have yet to be claimed. They were sold at the Harris Teeter on South Tryon Road in Charlotte for the Dec. 24 drawing and at the Murphy USA on Lincolnton Highway in Cherryville won in Jan. 28 drawing.
Beyond prizes, since the jackpot run began Dec. 3, interest has also resulted in $2.2 million in ticket sale commissions for local retailers and an estimated $12.2 million in earnings for education.
Powerball tickets cost $2 and adding the $1 Power Play feature allows players to boost their non-jackpot winnings. The odds of matching all six numbers to win the jackpot are approximately 1 in 175 million. Three North Carolina players have won Powerball jackpots ranging from $74.5 million to $141.4 million.
Garland stressed that, while it’s fun to play for a big jackpot, it is always important to play responsibly.
“We thank players and retailers for making it possible for the lottery to award prizes and raise funds for a good cause – education in our state,” she said. “At the same time, it takes a lot of luck to win, so we encourage everyone to play with money set aside for entertainment.”
Sales of tickets for games like Powerball have enabled the lottery to raise more than $3.6 billion for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.