Powerball lottery: We have two winners (+video)

Powerball lottery jackpot reached a record $588 million before Wendesday night's drawing. Two winning Powerball lottery tickets were sold, in Arizona and Missouri.

By , Reuters

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    Powerball numbers are chosen in the drawing at the Florida Lottery on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla. Two winning tickets were sold in the record-breaking drawing, in Missouri and Arizona.
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Winning tickets bought in Arizona and Missouri matched numbers drawn for a record Powerball lottery jackpot of $588 million, the Multi-State Lottery Association said.

Holders of the two winning tickets in the Wednesday night draw will share an estimated $385 million after tax if they opt to take it as a lump sum. Alternatively, the $588 million can be paid out to them as annuities over three decades, the association said.

The drawing took place at 10:59 p.m. EST, with winning numbers 5 16 22 23 29, and a Powerball of 6. The Association did not say if the ticket holders had come forward yet to claim their vast cash prizes.

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Powerball spokeswomen in Arizona and Missouri did not immediately respond to emails seeking further details on the winners.

The popular lottery - which is played in 42 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands - had not had a winner for two months. After no one won the top prize in Saturday's drawing, the pot had grown by about $263 million to $578.5 million amid a rush to buy tickets.

The previous Powerball top prize of $365 million was won in 2006 by ConAgra slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. The largest-ever U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing, was shared by three winning tickets last March.

Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, where Powerball is based, said lottery officials had received calls and emails from people around the world asking if they can buy a ticket. They cannot.

There have been nearly 300 jackpot winners over the past 20 years, taking home payouts of over $11.6 billion. (Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Idaho, Teresa Carson in Oregon,; Keith Coffman in Colorado,; Paul Ingram in Tucson, Jonathan Kaminsky in Washington state, Dave Warner in Philadelphia and Nick Carey in Illinois; Writing by Peter Rudegeair and Tim Gaynor; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Peter Cooney)

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