Lone Ticket in Florida Wins Record $590.5M Powerball

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 19 2013 11:55 AM

Someone in Florida Is $590.5 Million Richer After Record Powerball Drawing

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A customer holds $140 worth of Powerball tickets that he purchased on May 17 in San Francisco

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A single ticket matched all the numbers: 10, 13, 14, 22, 52,and a Powerball of 11. The name of the lucky person who bought the ticket at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla. still hasn’t been released publicly but he or she is probably feeling mighty lucky this Sunday. The person (or people) who bought the ticket beat the around 1 in 175 million odds to win the highest Powerball jackpot in history, an estimated $590.5 million, reports the Associated Press. The previous record jackpot was $587.5 million. Still, it wasn’t the largest prize ever awarded. In March 2012, the Mega Millions top prize was $656 million but that was shared between three ticket holders.

Not everyone is happy about the Powerball fever that has been engulfing 43 states and the District of Columbia in the run-up to the drawing. The record amounts being doled out by lotteries recently are hardly a fluke. They’re part of a clear plan by states that “have become so addicted to this revenue that they purposely look for new ways to create a gambling addiction among more residents,” contends the Christian Science Monitor. Gamblers mostly ignore the hugely long odds and they become hooked on buying tickets. Meanwhile, at least 10 states are debating laws to allow online gaming, another reflection of how local governments increasingly see revenue from gambling as free money while ignoring the risk to the population.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.