By Wally Kennedy
If someone you know unexpectedly quit his job on Thursday, you might inquire about whether he had been spotted buying a Powerball ticket recently at Casey’s General Store, 4800 S. Range Line Road.
A ticket purchased at that store is one of two $1 million Powerball winners in Missouri.
The purchaser of the ticket matched the five white balls — 5, 16, 22, 23 and 29 — but not the red ball, which was 6, in Wednesday night’s drawing. Fifty-six other ticket holders in the states that participate in Powerball also won $1 million by picking those numbers. The other $1 million ticket purchased in Missouri was sold in North Kansas City.
Picking all six of the correct numbers was achieved by someone who purchased a Powerball ticket at the Trex Mart in Dearborn, a town of about 500 people in northwestern Missouri. The purchaser of that ticket and another in Arizona matched all six Powerball numbers drawn Wednesday night to win half of the $587.5 million jackpot.
At $293.7 million, it is the largest jackpot prize ever won in Missouri. The $587.5 million total is the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
As of Thursday, representatives of the Missouri Lottery had not spoken or had contact with the winner of the $1 million prize from the ticket bought in Joplin, said John Wells, spokesman for the Missouri Lottery.
Wells said some people claim their prizes immediately, while others wait.
“It varies from winner to winner,” he said. “Some take a few months to claim their prize, while others want it done right away. Most like to examine all of the angles, including the tax and media implications, before they claim it.”
Both Arizona and Missouri do not allow the jackpot winners to remain anonymous.
If you find that you hold the winning ticket, the Missouri Lottery suggests that you sign the back, put it in a safe place, and seek legal and financial advice.
Wells said Casey’s General Store will receive a $1,000 bonus award for selling the $1 million ticket. The Trex Mart in Dearborn will receive a $50,000 bonus award.
A clerk at the Casey’s General Store said workers at the store are not permitted to speak to the press. A corporate spokeswoman did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
The Missouri winners have 180 days to claim their prizes, which in this case is May 27, 2013. The jackpot winner can select to get the prize in 30 payments over 29 years in an annuity or in one lump-sum payment worth about $192.3 million before taxes. If no choice is made in 60 days, the jackpot is automatically paid in 30 payments.
“The retailer and winner are not the only ones to benefit from this record jackpot,” said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. “Public education benefits greatly. Missouri Powerball sales for this jackpot run, which started Oct. 3, were more than $28.8 million, which means more than $10.7 million of those sales will benefit public education.”
Reardon noted that Missouri has had the second most Powerball jackpot winners, behind Indiana.
“With last night’s jackpot winner, we are up to 27,” she said.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS contributed to this report.
MISSOURI LOTTERY OFFICES are located in Kansas City, Jefferson City, St. Louis and Springfield. Maps to each office can be found on the “Contact Us” page of the Missouri Lottery’s website at molottery.com.