CHICAGO — The numbers have been drawn for the record Powerball jackpot and the wait for winners – if any – has begun.
The numbers drawn for the $579.9 million jackpot Wednesday were: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.
Americans went on a ticket-buying spree in recent days, the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to purchase a shot at the second-largest payout in U.S. history.
Among them was Lamar Fallie, a jobless Chicago man who said his six tickets conjured a pleasant daydream: If he wins, he plans to take care of his church, make big donations to schools and then “retire from being unemployed.”
Tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide – about six times the volume from a week ago.
The jackpot had rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner, but Powerball officials said they believed there was a 75 percent chance the winning combination would be drawn Wednesday.
If one ticket hits the right numbers, chances are good that multiple ones will, according to some experts. That happened in the Mega Millions drawing in March, when three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, which remains the largest lottery payout of all time.