Lottery to say where winning Powerball tickets sold in US

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:09am EST

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Lottery officials in Missouri and Arizona planned to announce on Thursday where the two winning tickets for a record Powerball jackpot of nearly $588 million were sold.

Those holding the tickets that snared the top prize in Wednesday night's draw had not yet come forward publicly.

They will share an estimated $385 million after taxes if they opt to take the prize as a lump sum, or the $587.5 million can be paid out to them as annuities over three decades, the Multi-State Lottery Association said.

The Missouri ticket that matched all six numbers in the draw - 5 16 22 23 29 and a Powerball of 6 - was sold in the Kansas City area, officials said.

"It is so exciting to sell one of these Powerball tickets," said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. "In addition, we sold two tickets that matched all five white balls, which means they each win $1 million. Three millionaires in one night is a wonderful night."

The popular lottery - which is played in 42 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands - had not had a winner for two months.

After no one won the top prize in Saturday's drawing, the pot grew by about $263 million to $587.5 million amid a national frenzy to buy tickets.

Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, where Powerball is based, said people from around the world called hoping for a chance to play but were told they had to be in a participating location to buy a ticket.

The previous Powerball top prize of $365 million was won in 2006 by ConAgra slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. The largest-ever U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing, was shared by three winning tickets last March.

There have been nearly 300 jackpot winners over the past 20 years, taking home payouts of more than $11.6 billion. (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Vicki Allen)