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Lottery: Single ticket wins $758.7M Powerball jackpot

Doreen Nelson, of Lindenhurst, with the Powerball ticket

Doreen Nelson, of Lindenhurst, with the Powerball ticket she purchased at the Maulik and Chandni Stationery store in Lindenhurst on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Photo Credit: James Carbone

A single winning ticket purchased in Massachusetts has won the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot in Wednesday night’s drawing, officials said.

The winning Powerball numbers are 6, 7, 16, 23, 26, and the Powerball number is 4.

The Massachusetts State Lottery said Thursday morning that the single ticket was sold at Pride Station and Store in Chicopee, correcting an earlier tweet that the ticket was sold in Watertown.

The head of the Massachusetts lottery said Thursday afternoon that a woman has come forward to claim the jackpot prize, The Associated Press reported. The woman will be introduced at an afternoon news conference, AP said.

Hours before Wednesday night’s $758 million drawing, seemingly everyone was giddy — from the hordes of players dreaming of riches to merchants frantically ringing up sales.

With the second-largest prize in U.S. lottery history up for grabs, ticket sales in New York topped $1 million-an-hour Wednesday, officials said.

On Long Island, excited customers left stores clutching handfuls of tickets and visions of new cars or homes, while business owners happily hustled to keep pace.

The Write Stuff & More, a Melville card and gifts shop, was busy Wednesday afternoon selling $2 lottery tickets to both regulars and first-timers.

“You won’t be lonely today,” one woman called to store manager Shelly Engler as she bounced between registers.

Summer has been slow for the business, Engler said, especially with a major construction project next door. The lure of a massive jackpot has helped.

“We’re holding our own,” she said. “We’ve been a lucky store in the past.”

New York Lottery spokesman Lee Park said “Powerball fever” was sweeping the state.

“Seven-hundred million is certainly life-changing money,” Park said.

Customers could buy tickets until 10 p.m. Wednesday, ahead of the 10:59 p.m. drawing.

The whopping top prize came after 20 drawings without a winner since June 10, and could approach the all-time highest jackpot — $1.6 billion, awarded January 2016 to winners in California, Florida and Tennessee — if a winner doesn’t come forward.

“I’m here for the same reason everyone else is here, to try to live a dream,” Joe Marziliano, 56, of Lindenhurst, said Wednesday afternoon as he purchased $10 worth of tickets.

He said he often goes to Maulik & Chandni Stationery, a local store, to play lottery games.

Marziliano said the store is considered “lucky” — having sold several major winning tickets, including one for more than $200 million.

The odds of winning the jackpot, he knows, are stacked against players at 1 in 292.2 million.

“The odds are astronomical, but it’s nice to dream that dream just for a few fleeting moments until you see that you’ve lost,” he said.

Park said that in 2015 the Multi-State Lottery Association, which owns Powerball, implemented a change in the game’s matrix to generate larger jackpots — and make it easier to win second- and third-tier prizes.

Those more realistic prizes are what Ralph Ferreri, 81, of Melville shoots for. He purchased a few tickets at The Write Stuff & More at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“When it’s only a million or two, why does no one play? That’s nothing to sneeze at,” he said. “I play every day, whether it’s a million or $9 million.”

Another hopeful, Denise Silvestri of Melville, said she and her husband buy a ticket or two when the jackpots top $100 million — even though the most they’ve ever won was $7.

“Everyone has that hope,” said Silvestri, 55. “My husband would retire and I’d buy a new car. It’s just the security of not having to worry about other things.”

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