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New York's sales surge with Powerball Jackpot at $500 million for tonight's drawing

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Wed, Jan 6th 2016 02:40 pm

The New York Lottery today announced sales are brisk for tonight's Powerball drawing with the jackpot now at $500 million.

"The Powerball jackpot skyrocketed by nearly $150 million in the past four days, and New Yorkers are taking note," said Gardner Gurney, director of the Division of the Lottery. "As of noon today, New York state was averaging more than $840,000 in Powerball sales per hour. Sales for tonight's drawing end at 10 p.m., so we urge New Yorkers to get their tickets for a chance to win a half-billion dollars."

Tonight's drawing will be the fourth-biggest Powerball jackpot and sixth-largest jackpot prize of any lottery game in U.S. history. No one matched all six numbers for Saturday's $355.8 million drawing causing the jackpot to roll to $500 million or $306 million in a lump sum.

Lottery officials remind players they could be a winner even if they don't win the jackpot prize. The second place prize is $1 million for matching the first five numbers, or $2 million if they paid an extra dollar for the "Power Play" feature when buying the ticket.

Saturday's Powerball jackpot of $355.8 million produced more than 190,438 winning tickets in New York. If no one matches all five numbers plus the Powerball for tonight's drawing, the jackpot will continue to grow. Tickets cost $2 per game and can be purchased until 10 p.m. EST.

Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The largest Powerball jackpot to date was $590.5 million, won in Florida in May 2013.

For all Lottery games, the New York Lottery urges players to follow this ticket safety checklist:

  • Sign your ticket upon receipt.
  • Check before leaving the store to ensure you have the correct ticket(s) and all corresponding receipts.
  • Never hand a lottery ticket to anyone without knowing how much it's worth. (If you have to give a ticket to anyone to assess its value or collect winnings, sign the ticket first and always keep your ticket in view.)
  • Use the ticket checker now available at all retail locations statewide to determine if you have a winning ticket before handing it to a store clerk for payment.
  • Check your numbers against the Lottery's official winning numbers posted at more than 17,500 retail locations statewide, in newspapers and online at nylottery.ny.gov.
  • Read the back of your ticket(s) to learn about alternative methods for claiming your prize (e.g. visit your regional Lottery customer service center or mail it in). Keep all Lottery tickets in a safe, secure place as the Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets.
  • All Lottery Instant Game prizes must be claimed within one year from the announced end of game.
  • All prizes for a Lottery drawing must be claimed within one year from the date of the drawing.
  • Notify the Lottery immediately if you think your ticket has been mishandled.

The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.11 billion in fiscal year 2014-15 to help support education in New York. The Lottery's contribution represents 14 percent of total state education aid to local school districts.

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