Record-breaking Powerball jackpot ignites Midstate frenzy

A person shows Powerball tickets she bought on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in San Lorenzo, Calif. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over 1 billion dollars for the next drawing on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – People across the Midstate are crossing their fingers and hoping they get lucky in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing.

Lottery officials say the estimated $1.5 billion jackpot is not only the largest ever in the United States but also in the entire world.

The store manager at the Super 7 Food Mart in along Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Township expects to have a very long line Wednesday and sell $12,000 to $15,000 in Powerball tickets. The store is considered one of the luckiest stores in the area. It’s had several lottery winners in the past.

The jackpot is up to an annuity of $1.5 billion paid in annual payments over 29 years. Those with the Pennsylvania Lottery say it could be even higher if they continue to sell more tickets than expected.

The winner could also choose to get a $930 million lump sum.

The federal government will tax 25 percent of your winnings. Pennsylvania does not tax people who bought a ticket in the state.

All six numbers must be correct to win, but the first five can be in any order.

The prize for matching the five main numbers isn’t too shabby. It’s $1 million, while getting four of the main numbers and the Powerball will get you $50,000

The odds of winning the largest lottery prize ever is one in 292,200,000.

Lottery officials expect people will buy at least 80 percent of the number combinations before the drawing.

“Ticket sales are great. We’re selling about 7,000 tickets per minute right now. That’ll increase dramatically on Wednesday, and is exciting as it is, we remind players to play responsibly,” said Drew Svitko, executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Lottery officials also have some advice if you happen to hit it big during Wednesday’s drawing.

“If you think you have the winning ticket, sign the back of your ticket immediately, put it somewhere safe, then give us a call here at lottery headquarters, and we’ll advise you through the process,” Svitko said.” We advise everybody to get some professional advice from a tax advisor, from an attorney, before they come and claim their prize.”

The drawing is set for 11 p.m. Wednesday. For more on Powerball prizes, click here.

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