Residents across 42 states, including South Carolina, will be hoping Christmas comes early this week when a record Powerball amount could be won come Wednesday.
The Powerball jackpot is estimated to be $425 million this week, but with staggering sales numbers, that amount could increase. If someone in South Carolina were to hit the $425 million jackpot, that would mean $189.2 million in cash.
Two of the top-12 lotto ticket selling stores in the state reside in Aiken County, helping to generate the more than $1.14 billion dollars in revenue the South Carolina Education Lottery taken in last fiscal year.
The manager of one of those stores, Atul Patel at Mo's Conveinence and Tobacco, said that Powerball sales had picked up this week and that the interest that's being generated already helped one local resident.
“She had $2 to pay for the ticket on Saturday, but it was too late, so she bought a scratch-off,” Patel said.
That scratch-off ticket ended up netting the woman $1,000.
According to The Associated Press, the previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, which was won in 2006 by ConAgra Foods Workers in Lincoln, Neb. The Powerball lottery is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Mega Millions lottery holds the record for the biggest payout in U.S. history. In June, the prize hit $640 million and the winnings were shared among three ticket holders.
There have been 10 Powerball jackpot winners nationally this year, but the last came on Oct. 3 when an anonymous winner took home a $50 million jackpot.
The Powerball hasn't been won since, growing over the last two months to its record-setting number this week.
“I have my fingers crossed that on Wednesday night, a South Carolinian will be holding a ticket that's worth $425 million,” SCEL Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea said in a news release. “Jackpot runs are always exciting, but this one has been incredibly energizing for our Powerball players hungry for another astounding jackpot run like we saw Mega Millions post earlier this year.”
Twice this year alone, winners have won more than $300 million, with the year's largest winner coming on Aug. 15 when Michigan's Donald Lawson won a $337 million jackpot. Prior to this year, there hadn't been a $300 million-plus jackpot winner since 2007.
Saturday's winning numbers were 22-32-37-44-50-34. Tickets have to be purchased for the next drawing by 9:59 p.m. Wednesday evening.
The drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday night. Tickets are $2 a piece.