Tickets in mainland U.S., Puerto Rico win $564 million Powerball jackpot

Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:44am EST
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(Reuters) - Three lucky ticketholders in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico won the estimated $564.1 million U.S. Powerball lottery jackpot on Wednesday, the Powerball website showed.

The jackpot, which reached the half-billion dollar mark after rolling over for nearly three months, was the third-largest in the game's history and one of the largest lottery jackpots ever in the United States.

The three gamblers can select a lump-sum cash payout or opt to take annuity payments over 29 years, before taxes. The winning numbers from the draw were 11, 13, 25, 39 and 54, lottery officials said, and the Powerball number was 19.

"Looks like we have a jackpot winner in Texas tonight!" the Texas Lottery tweeted.

The last winner, a Washington woman, told lottery officials she purchased the winning $90 million ticket on Thanksgiving Day and had never bought a Powerball ticket before.

Jackpots start at $40 million and grow until at least one player comes up with the winning numbers. Drawings are made on Wednesday and Saturday nights and tickets cost $2 each. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175 million.

The biggest Powerball jackpot awarded by the Multi-State Lottery Association was $590.5 million in May 2013 to the holder of a single winning ticket. The association's Mega Millions lottery awarded a top prize of $656 million three years ago.

Powerball tickets are sold in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio and Kevin Liffey)

A Powerball Lottery is shown in this photo illustration after being purchased at a gas station in San Diego, California, February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake