The winning ticket for the $731 million Powerball jackpot was sold in Maryland, CNN reports. The holder will need to decide if they want to be given the estimated $731.1 million over the course of 29 years, or receive a single lump-sum payment of $546.8 million. They have at least 182 days to claim the prize.
This is the fourth-largest amount in Powerball history. In January 2016, the payout reached a staggering $1.586 billion, and was claimed by three people. It is, however, the biggest sum of money ever won from the lottery in the state of Maryland "easily outdistancing the $218.6 million share of a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot claimed anonymously ... in the March 30, 2012, drawing," according to lottery officials.
Among the 13 second-tier winners, which involves hitting the first five numbers but missing the Powerball, one ticket also came from Maryland. Since this holder chose the "Power Play" option, they will double their winnings to $2 million.
CBS News notes that while large gaps between winners is still a rare occurrence, it speaks to the incredibly slim chances of someone having the winning ticket. The Powerball odds are 1 in 292.2 million. Those bleak odds didn't deter people from showing up with their two dollars and a dream.
Maryland lottery spokeswoman Carole Gentry said the latest drawing for Powerball's sister lottery game Mega Millions drummed up sales totaling $260 million, and accounted for 36 percent of all possible number combinations. Now, the attention of anyone hoping to hit it big will turn to the Mega Millions where the prize currently sits at $970 million, the third-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. The next drawing is on Friday.
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