- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2006

Two winning Match 5 bonus tickets, each worth $667,142, were sold in the District, while the winning $365 million Powerball ticket was sold in Nebraska for what was the largest lottery jackpot in the nation’s history, lottery officials said yesterday.

The winning Match 5 tickets were sold at Mayfair Liquor, 7312 Georgia Ave. NW, and at Palisades Market, 4554 MacArthur Blvd. NW, officials said.

The winners did not come forward yesterday.

The lottery numbers drawn Saturday were: 15, 17, 43, 44 and 48. The Powerball number was 29.

More than 100,000 players who purchased the Powerball tickets in the District also won smaller cash prizes.

D.C. lottery officials said the winners likely would not be identified until tomorrow, the first day the claim center is open after the Presidents Day holiday weekend.

“It’s probably going to be a very busy morning out there because just the fact that you had those two people over the weekend and so many others playing,” said Bob Hainey, a spokesman for the D.C. Lottery office.

The winning Quick Pick Powerball ticket was sold at a U-Stop convenience store in Lincoln, said Brian Rockey, a spokesman for the Nebraska Lottery.

No one came forward to claim the $365 million jackpot yesterday, Mr. Rockey said. “We don’t know if the winner knows yet,” he said.

Mr. Rockey said lottery officials planned to go to the store in Lincoln yesterday to verify the sale, which would entitle the store owner to a $50,000 bonus.

The jackpot Saturday exceeded the previous Powerball record of $340 million on Oct. 19, lottery officials said.

In that drawing, two D.C. Lottery tickets also matched five white balls to win $200,000, plus $653,492 from the Bonus Prize Pool.

U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, held one of the winning tickets, and he claimed the prize the next day. No one claimed the other winning ticket.

Lottery officials said yesterday that one of the dangers of a large jackpot is an increase in the number of players who do not understand how the game works.

“The problem that occurs when you have a major run like that is that you get a lot of people who don’t normally play the game and they really don’t know what they’re doing,” Mr. Hainey said. “They just don’t know how to play. There’s nine ways to win, but they think if they don’t have all the numbers they should throw it away. But those five numbers, that’s good stuff.”

Forty other tickets sold across the country were Match 5 winners, officials said. The jackpot winner has the option of taking the money in one lump sum or in installments over 30 years. The cash option is $177.8 million, or $124.46 million after taxes.

The previous U.S. lottery jackpot record was $363 million for the Big Game, the forerunner of Mega Millions. That was won by two ticketholders in Illinois and Michigan in 2000. Powerball’s previous record jackpot of $340 million was won by an Oregon family in October.

Powerball is played in 28 states, the District and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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