And now the
Thousands of California players woke up Sunday morning disappointed to discover that, in fact, they did not live in the small town of Zephyrhills, Fla., and did not win $600 million.
By Monday morning, lotto fever had cooled. Lottery officials have said that jackpots over $200 million tend to draw casual players who don't normally play when the jackpot is $40 million or thereabouts.
"It sounds ridiculous to say, but if the jackpot is $56 million, it just doesn't motivate people the way a $656-million jackpot does," Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state lottery, said in reference to a record-setting Mega Millions jackpot.
Because a winning ticket exists, the $656-million jackpot from March of 2012 will remain the world's biggest. Officials had speculated that if there were no winners Saturday, the Powerball jackpot would have approached $1 billion for Wednesday's draw.
Although there were no jackpot winners in California, two lucky players are holding tickets that will make them millionaires. Two tickets sold at 7-Elevens in Taft and in San Jose matched five of six numbers, earning $2.3 million each.
Meanwhile, the small town of Zephyrhills was waiting eagerly Monday to crown its big winner.
Residents in the town of about 13,000 were hoping that the winner was local, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Associated Press reported that the city's budget is about $49 million. The Powerball jackpot is about 12 times that amount.