Powerball jackpot climbs to $1.5 billion but two Californians walk away millionaires

A customer holds up Powerball tickets at a liquor store
A customer holds up Powerball tickets at Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne on Friday. The Powerball jackpot is at $1.5 billion and the next drawing is Saturday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Two tickets in California came close to winning the $1.2-billion Powerball jackpot Wednesday night, matching five of the six numbers to earn more than $1 million each.

The Powerball jackpot jumped to $1.5 billion after no one won it, making it the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The record is $1.586 billion, set in 2016 and shared by Powerball winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

In Wednesday’s drawing, the two California tickets got the first five numbers — 2, 11, 22, 35 and 60 — correctly but missed the Powerball number. The winning tickets are worth $1,044,212 each, and one was sold at the Eastland Food Mart in Ontario and the other at a 7-Eleven in Milpitas.

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Across California, 962,544 partially winning tickets were sold, with payouts ranging from $4 to more than $20,000.

No one has won the Powerball jackpot since Aug. 3, when a ticketholder in Pennsylvania took home a $202-million prize. Since then, there have been 39 consecutive drawings without anyone matching all six numbers.

The Powerball jackpot varies depending on how many numbers a player correctly guesses. Guess all five numbers and the Powerball correctly, and the winner can opt to get paid annually over 29 years, or choose cash, which would be $745.9 million, if the jackpot is at $1.5 billion.

The next Powerball drawing is Saturday. Players looking to test their luck in California have until 7 p.m. Saturday to purchase tickets.

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