LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - The lottery fantasies of mansions, luxury boats and unlimited travel are over for most people. But for the owner - or owners - of the lone winning ticket sold in New Jersey for Powerball's $338.3 million drawing, they're just beginning.
New Jersey lottery officials announced today the ticket was sold at Eagle Liquor in Passaic, a city of 70,000 about 15 miles northwest of New York City.
But officials have yet to hear from the person or persons who bought the ticket.
State lottery director Carole Hedinger said it's not usual for big winners to wait a few days or longer to claim the prize while they seek professional advice.
Lottery officials said it was the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history. The numbers drawn Saturday were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. A lump sum payout would be $221 million.
"I hope whoever wins does good things with the money," Teddy Jackson, a 45-year-old electrician from Toms River, said Sunday. "It's OK to buy yourself a few material things and take some trips, but $338 million can do a lot of good things. Help the people who lost their jobs, the ones who got destroyed by (Superstorm) Sandy, the folks dealing with serious medical problems ... don't become one of these stupid people who get a windfall and blow it all."
Lottery officials said 13 tickets worth $1 million apiece - matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball - were sold in Arizona, Florida (2), Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina and Virginia.
No one had won the Powerball jackpot since early February, when Dave Honeywell in Virginia bought the winning ticket and elected a cash lump sum for his $217 million jackpot.
The largest Powerball jackpot ever came in at $587.5 million in November. The winning numbers were picked on two different tickets - one by a couple in Missouri and the other by an Arizona man - and the jackpot was split.
Nebraska still holds the record for the largest Powerball jackpot won on a single ticket - $365 million - by eight workers at a Lincoln meatpacking plant in February 2006.
Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.