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$768-million Powerball winner bought ticket in Milwaukee suburb

$768-million Powerball winner bought ticket in Milwaukee suburb
The Powerball jackpot was the third largest in U.S. lottery history. (C.J. Gunther / EPA/Shutterstock)

A single ticket that matched all six Powerball numbers to win the estimated $768.4-million jackpot — the third-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history — was sold in a Milwaukee suburb, Wisconsin Lottery officials said Thursday.

The ticket, worth a cash option of $477 million, was sold at a Speedway gas station in New Berlin, a city of about 40,000 people about 15 miles southwest of Milwaukee, lottery officials told reporters at a news conference. The winner has not come forward yet, Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin said.

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The gas station will receive $100,000 for selling the winning ticket. That award will come out the state general fund, not from the winnings, Wisconsin Lottery spokesman David Brauer said.

New Berlin residents expressed excitement about the possibility the winner could be from their area.

“It is amazing. Amazing,” said New Berlin resident Jacqueline Walderyera. “New Berlin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Opening day for the Brewers. It’s all falling into place just perfectly, and it’s my day off work.”

Under Wisconsin law, the winner or winners can’t remain anonymous and has 180 days to claim the prize. Otherwise the ticket is worthless.

The win comes almost exactly two years after Wisconsin hit its last Powerball jackpot, when a Milwaukee resident won $156.2 million on March 22, 2017.

Although the prize grew steadily since the previous jackpot winner on Dec. 26, the odds of matching the five white balls and single Powerball remained 1 in 292.2 million. The winning numbers were 16, 20, 37, 44 and 62. The Powerball number was 12.

The latest jackpot is the third largest behind the world-record $1.586-billion Powerball jackpot shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016, and the $1.537-billion Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina last October.

“It’s going to be a very green spring for our first Powerball jackpot winner of 2019,” David Barden, Powerball Product Group chairman and New Mexico Lottery CEO, said in a statement. “A jackpot of this size can make many dreams come true — not just for the winner, but for all Lottery beneficiaries and the lucky state of Wisconsin.”

The $768.4-million estimated figure refers to the annuity option, paid over 29 years. Nearly all grand prize winners opt for the cash prize. Both prize options are before taxes.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca said at the news conference that if the winner or winners take the cash prize, the state would claim $38 million of the winnings as tax revenue. Annual tax revenue from annuities would build from $11.6 million this year to $47 million by 2048, according to department estimates.

Seven tickets matched all five white balls but missed matching the red Powerball in Wednesday’s drawing, to each win a $1-million prize. Two of those tickets were sold in California, and one each was sold in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey and New York. Two other tickets, sold in Kansas and Minnesota, matched all five white balls and doubled the prize to $2 million, because the tickets included the Power Play option for an additional $1.

Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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