Local Powerball Players Open Wallets for $500M Jackpot

Your odds of winning? One in 292.2 million

The winning Powerball numbers were drawn on Wednesday for a jackpot of about $524.1 million – the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year.

The winning white balls were 02-11-47-62-63, with a Powerball of 17 and a Power Play of 3.

If a winner is declared, the prize money will have a pre-tax cash option of $306 million in one take, or $500 million paid out over 29 years, after taxes.

People were coming to Fuel City in Dallas all day to get their tickets. One Powerball player even rubbed NBC 5’s Johnny Archer’s head for good luck.

“That seals the deal,” said Lillian Neely. “He’s a good luck charm. God bless you son. Thank you very much.”

Earlier Wednesday, the jackpot stood at $450 million, the sixth largest jackpot ever in North America. By noon, the pot reached $500 million.

“I’m just so excited because this is my first time and I feel that I will hit,” said Michael Hammond. “I really do.”

“I think it is a blessing,” said Neely. “I think it’s my season. I’m just praying. God opens a door, it’s going to happen. I have a lot of good I can do with this.”

The jackpot was the largest since a Powerball prize that climbed to $564.1 million last February before it was won by players from North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico.

The chances of winning are pretty slim. The odds are one in 292 million.

The biggest jackpot on record stands at $656 million, which was won in May 2013.

A statistician from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, did some research and found the most frequently drawn Powerball number in the last several years is 20. That's followed by the numbers 37, 2, 31 and 35.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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