Courtesy of MCT
Powerball fever has subsided and the jackpot has returned to a normal level after last week’s record $587.5 million drawing had two winning tickets and thousands others that yielded payouts, including at least one in Columbus.
The owners of one of the tickets have been confirmed as Cindy and Mark Hill of Dearborn, Mo.
The identity of the owner of the second ticket, bought in Arizona, still remains a mystery. Speculation as to who the person is and why he has yet to come forward has only increased as a closed-circuit TV video of a man supposedly checking his winning ticket in Maryland has spread across the Internet.
There were numerous winning tickets for smaller amounts in Ohio. According to the Powerball website, there were 304,427 tickets in Ohio that yielded a payout.
These winners included a group of officers from the Columbus Division of Police who will be sharing a total of $1 million.
According to an article from The Columbus Dispatch, about two dozen officers pooled their money and bought more than 50 tickets, deciding to split the money among them if they won. They had a winning ticket, matching five of the six winning numbers and each of the officers will walk away with about $30,000 after taxes.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510, but that didn’t stop people from playing, including students.
Justin Estok, a fifth-year in communication and an employee at the 7-Eleven on High Street and 10th Ave., said there was a definite increase in ticket sales the day of the drawing.
“The line was back to the door before we stopped selling it,” Estok said.
The 7-Eleven typically sells tickets to a usual crowd of customers, Estok said, but this time the crowd was a little different.
“(There were) a lot more students than normal, because usually students don’t play big lottery, but this time they came in and played it,” he said.
David Langhals, a fourth-year in consumer and family financial services, isn’t a regular player, but decided to purchase some tickets last Wednesday.
“I play every once in a while, usually only when it gets big,” he said.
Langhals and a friend bought four tickets and decided they would share the prize money if they won.
Immediately after buying the tickets, they were making plans on how they would spend the cash.
“We were discussing what we wanted to buy and I went through explaining how if you do win one of these, the first thing you should do is put at least 60 percent of it into securities, bonds and stuff, that are going to be interest bearing,” he said.
Langhals said if he had won he would have bought the house he lives in and turned it into the official house for Frisbee players, a sport he has been playing at OSU for a few years.
But there were still many students who chose not buy tickets.
Thomas Adams, a fourth-year in marketing, said he didn’t play and wasn’t aware that the jackpot total had exceeded $500 million.
“I usually don’t pay attention to the lottery,” Adams said. “Chances are you’re not going to win, so I usually don’t do it.”
Adams said that even though he didn’t play, he appreciates the tax revenue lotto generates and understands why people would buy tickets.
“If people enjoy it it’s not a waste of money, but I wouldn’t spend money on it,” he said.
The last Powerball drawing was on Saturday, and with no winners, the jackpot is up to $50 million.
The next drawing will be on Wednesday.