Powerball $338 Million Winning Ticket Sold At Passaic, NJ Liquor Store

4:22 PM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
Eagle Liquor, Passaic, NJ (AP Photo)
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Passaic, NJ-- A modest storefront liquor shop and Powerball outlet in Passaic, N.J., is claiming its own $10,000 prize after state lottery officials announced Monday that Eagle Liquors sold the sole winning ticket for Saturday's $338.3 million jackpot.

"Everyone was excited when we found out this morning we sold the ticket," said Eagles Liquors owner Sunil Sethi.

The lucky winner has not yet come forward, state lottery director Carole Hedinger said. Sethi is already a winner -- outlets that sell Powerball jackpot winners claim a $10,000 bonus. Sethi said he will use some of the money to fix up the store and share some with his employees.

That will even make a winner out of Sunniy Mokida, who has worked at the store for 7 years. Mokida said the store has been swamped with media and well-wishers. Even a small part of the bonus would make it worthwhile, he said.

"It's all been very exciting," Mokida said. Added Pravin Mankodia, who sold the ticket: "It feels awesome, we feel so lucky."

Hedinger said state lottery officials are waiting for the winner to call, but said it could take several days or even weeks for the winner to make arrangements to claim the jackpot.

"Whoever they are, they should sign that ticket immediately and put it in a safe place," she said. "I hope that we will know who they are very soon."

A lump sum payout would be $221 million, which minus taxes would still leave the winner with $152 million, Hedinger said.

The winning numbers: 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. It's the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

Other Powerball players also stand to get rich. One Powerball ticket that matched five numbers, sold in Iowa, is good for $2 million. Spreading the wealth even further, 13 tickets worth a cool $1 million each were sold in 11 states. Florida and Pennsylvania each had two; Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia had one each.

No one had won the Powerball jackpot since Virginian Dave Honeywell bought a winning ticket worth $217 million at a vending machine in Richmond International Airport more than a month ago.

The largest U.S. jackpot of any kind was a $656 million Mega Millions pot, won March 30, 2012, and split by winners in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas.

The largest Powerball jackpot ever, $587.5 million in November, was split between an Arizona man and a Missouri couple. The largest Powerball jackpot won by a single ticket was $365 million claimed in Nebraska in February 2006. But even that one was split -- eight workers at a Lincoln, Neb., meatpacking plant had pooled their funds.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of hitting all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.

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