Winning tickets in Wednesday's record $580 million jackpot were purchased in Arizona and Missouri, lottery officials said. An additional 8,924,123 players won smaller prizes.
A lottery official said late Wednesday that the jackpot increased to $579.9 million by the time of the drawing, making the cash option $379.8 million. That makes this Powerball, after 16 drawings with no winner, the second-largest potential lottery payout in U.S. history
The numbers drawn were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and the Powerball 6.
There are two winners this time, but what if next time you are holding the winning ticket, trying to decide what to do next -- post a photo on Facebook? Send a kiss-off email to the boss?
Financial experts with lottery expertise advise any winner to steer clear of crowing, indeed to share the news with as few people as possible.
"My recommendation is that you keep it within a very tight network of people," as once the news gets out you'll face issues of privacy and security for your family, said Michael D. Solomon, a Levittown attorney who has advised lottery winners, including a Suffolk County couple who won the $165 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2009.
Take care, too, about letting small children in on the news, he said, as, "God forbid they go to school and tell their friends."
Still, as recognition sets in during those early hours, sharing the news may be far from mind anyway, said Ray Mignone, a certified financial planner in Little Neck, who says he's worked with four lottery winners in the $50 million to $100 million range.
"I guarantee that whoever wins is not going to get that much sleep, and that ticket will never be far from their reach," he said.
Gazing at those matching numbers made some of his clients "nervous, very, very nervous," he said, and they found themselves checking the numbers over again and again in disbelief.
Along those lines, players are advised to check their numbers with the official New York Lottery website, Lottery spokeswoman Christy Calicchia said.
As for the ticket itself, "one of the most important things is to sign the back," Calicchia said. That and "be as cautious with this ticket as they would with any other valuable document in their house," she said.
Solomon advises making a copy of the ticket and putting the original in a safe-deposit box.
The jackpot opened at $40 million on Oct. 6, Calicchia said. Since then it has rolled over 15 times.
A single winner of Wednesday's jackpot could choose a lump sum, before taxes, of $360.2 million or annuity payments totaling $550 million over 29 years after initial payment.