Record Powerball jackpot spurs sales in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Lottery officials hope buyers also will consider buying a chance to play state games.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: November 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm •  Published: November 26, 2012
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“If they buy it here, they've got to cash it here, and we pull out taxes here,” Redburn said.

About the drawing

Oklahoma has had four jackpot winners since the state joined the Multi-State Lottery Association in January 2006 and began offering Powerball.

All four opted for the cash payout instead of choosing to have the jackpot paid out in annual amounts over 29 years, Redburn said.

Oklahoma winners have 180 days from the day of the drawing to claim prizes at the Oklahoma Lottery headquarters.

The cash payout for the $425 million jackpot would be about $278 million, he said.

The jackpot could go even higher because sales tend to increase in the days before record drawings; tickets have to be bought by 8:59 p.m. Wednesday to enter the drawing.

The jackpot is won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball. The second prize, won by matching five white balls in any order, is $1 million. Lower amounts are awarded as the number of matching balls decrease. The overall odds of winning a prize are about 1 in 32, according to the Powerball website.

Powerball lists the odds of winning the jackpot as 1 in 175,223,510. The chance of being struck by lightning on any given day is 1 in 750,000, according to the National Weather Service.

A Powerball ticket costs $2. The Power Play multiplier costs an additional $1 per play. Power Play winners win a larger cash prize other than the jackpot.

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 Virgin Islands.

The Megamillions lottery holds the record for the biggest payout in U.S. history. In March, the prize hit $640 million, and the winnings were shared among three ticket holders in Illinois, Maryland and Kansas.

The record Powerball jackpot could lead to an uptick in Oklahoma lottery ticket sales, which would improve the state Lottery Commission's outlook for the next fiscal year.

The Oklahoma Lottery Commission in September projected about a $17.2 million decline in revenues for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1. That would mean about $6 million less going to education compared with this year.