dropping the ball

Powerball reveals winning numbers in record jackpot drawing after security delay

Someone in California won the top prize of $2 billion—or, really, $1 billion before taxes, which is still a lot!

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A customer fills out a ticket for the Powerball jackpot of $1.9 billion dollars at a newsstand in New York City, U.S., November 7, 2022.
Trying their luck
Photo: Brendan McDermid (Reuters)

Powerball revealed the winning numbers for what was billed as the world’s largest lottery jackpot in history, after delaying the drawing for more than 10 hours over security concerns.

The white balls drawn were 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56. The red Powerball was 10. Players need to match all six numbers to win the jackpot. Someone in California won the jackpot, which officially grew to an advertised value of $2.04 billion before the highly anticipated drawing. The actual cash value of the prize is $997.6 million.

Powerball, which is run by a consortium of 48 states and territories in the US, had said it was waiting for one of those participating lotteries “to submit their sales and play data” before it could conduct the drawing, which was scheduled to be broadcast live just before 11pm EST on Monday, Nov. 7.

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“Powerball has stringent security requirements to protect the integrity of the game and remains committed to holding a drawing that gives all players a fair chance to win,” read the statement by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

The lottery didn’t elaborate on its security concerns, but it would make sense to collect data on all tickets sold prior to the drawing, in order to prevent counterfeit tickets and other forms of fraud.

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Rising interest rates have helped to drive up advertised jackpots, which are based on investing in long-term US Treasurys. Powerball also changed its rules in 2015 to encourage larger jackpots by making it harder to win.

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Powerball draws five white balls and one red ball, and you need to match all of them to win the jackpot. The rule change reduced the number of white balls, which made it easier to win smaller prizes by matching just some of the numbers, but increased the number of red balls, which made the jackpot more difficult. The odds of winning fell from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million.

By early Tuesday morning, the Multi-State Lottery Association had not issued an update on whether the outstanding ticket-sales data had been submitted. In the meantime, individual state lotteries were left to communicate with frustrated wagerers and point blame away from themselves.

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“Last night’s Powerball drawing remains delayed to allow time to complete security protocols in all states,” the Ohio Lottery said. “The drawing will be conducted as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the integrity of the drawing is most important.”