3 Powerball Winners to Split $1.6 Billion US Lottery Jackpot

The western U.S. state of California and the southeastern states of Tennessee and Florida all have winners who will split the record-breaking Powerball lottery with a jackpot of $1.6 billion.

A spokesman for the California lottery, Alex Traverso, said late Wednesday a winning ticket had been purchased in Chino Hills, a modest suburb of Los Angeles.  Winning tickets were also sold in Munford, Tennessee and in Melbourne Beach, Florida.  No winners have stepped forward yet.

The winning numbers were 4, 8, 19, 27 and 34, with 10 as the Powerball.  The odds of a winning ticket were estimated at one in 292.2 million.

Multiple Powerball winners must share equally in the prize money.  They can take a lump sum, subject to hefty tax withholdings, or a yearly annuity for 29 years that is taxed as it is doled out.

Lottery executives say ticket sales reached record levels, pushing the jackpot higher, which in turn generated more ticket sales.

Most of the 50 U.S. states allow lotteries to operate; but in the six that do not, much business was generated along the borders with states that do allow  lottery sales.

Tickets were even being sold in China, thanks to brokers on the Internet, many of whom demanded a cut of the winnings if any of their clients got a lucky break.  The $2 tickets were sold at a premium, going for prices from $3 to $4.60.

The California store selling the winning ticket became a tourist attraction, as onlookers and news crews crowded into the parking lot.  The store will receive a $1 million prize for selling a winning ticket.