By Renée Jean, Business and Tourism Reporter
The Cowboy State has again been shut out of a major national lottery jackpot, dashing the hopes of thousands of Wyomingites who’ve been sharing their not-so-serious hopes online that they could skip work Tuesday after a ticket sold in California won a record Powerball prize estimated at $2.04 billion.
Wyoming is among four states that participate in the lottery that have never had a winner. The other three are North Dakota, Vermont and Maine. Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska and Alabama do not participate directly in the lottery, though people from those states have been known to cross state lines to buy tickets.
Claims Of Conspiracy
Lottery officials announced that a winning jackpot ticket was sold in California after a 10-hour delay in drawing the Powerball numbers that quickly generated chains of conspiracy theories and jokes across social media.
Powerball USA said the delay was due to one state’s difficulty in completing all required security protocols. It wouldn’t name which state that was.
The winning ticket numbers were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and the Powerplay number was 10.
The winning jackpot ticket is worth an estimated $2.04 billion, if the winner decided to take the prize as an annuity. Otherwise, the lump sum payout is $997.6 million — before taxes.
$50,000 Winner In Green River
There were a few other winners in Monday night’s Powerball drawing, including a $50,000 ticket sold in Green River. The drawing before Monday night’s there also was a $150,000 winning ticket sold in Buffalo.
No details are known about those winners. Neither of the winners has come forward, Cowboy State Daily was told.
Wyomingites collectively won $178,000 playing Monday’s Powerball. Those who bought tickets are advised to verify their tickets at any lottery retailer. Winners can then claim their prizes.
Winners in other states from Monday night’s drawing included a Florida ticket worth $2 mililon for the Power Play Match 5/5, and 22 players in various states — none of them Wyoming — who each won $1 million for the Powerball Match 5/5.
The odds of winning were 1 in 292.2 million. By comparison, getting hit by lightning is slightly less than 1 in 1 million odds, while being bitten by a shark is listed as 1 in 3.75 million by Petpedia.com.
Wyomingites were not immune to cracking a few off-color jokes about the delay and even some tongue-in-cheek conspiracy theories on WyoLotto’s Facebook page.
“I predict Hunter Biden wins the jackpot,” wrote Joe Zuback from Pinedale.
“Conspiracy theorists will have a hay day!!!” wrote Carla Bennick Norris of Lander.
“Great!!” exclaimed Randy Toohey of Gillette. “The same people counting votes are running Powerball!!!”
Others had more serious questions, such as whether they could still buy tickets — No, WyoLotto told them — and what would happen if all tickets were invalidated.
“We understand everyone’s concern, please hold on tight to those tickets!” Wyoming Lottery wrote in response. “You can check them online at our website; however, the ability to cash them out at retailers will become available as soon as possible.”
That post included a link to watch the numbers being drawn on YouTube. , at https://tinyurl.com/5ecwdjtw.
Brisk Ticket Sales
Ticket sales across Wyoming were fast and furious Monday. The state overall pulled in more than $2.3 million in lottery sales Oct. 30 through Nov. 5. Average ticket sales, by comparison, are more like $154,000 per week, WyoLotto spokeswoman Ashley Pexton told Cowboy State Daily in an email.
A sizable number of the state’s ticket sales came from people in Utah, which doesn’t participate in Powerball. Uinta County, where a lot of those ticket sales happen, took in $990,912 of the Oct. 30 through Nov. 5 ticket sales haul.
Back To ‘Only’ $20 Million
After all the hype of the record Powerball, the lottery game gos on, albeit with a new and dramatically lower jackpot.
It’s now a paltry $20 million.
Mega Millions, meanwhile, is worth an estimated $154 million. The next numbers for that game will be drawn Tuesday.
Things To Know
Powerball tickets are $2 each, plus $1 to buy the Power Play, while Mega Millions is $2 for each set of six numbers and $1 per play for its Megaplier.
Lottery tickets require cash, no checks or debit cards allowed, per state statute.
Those who win should make sure to keep the physical ticket. It must be scanned at a WyoLotto retailer or WyoLotto headquarters before it can be claimed. That is regardless of using the mobile App to “save” a ticket.
Powerball tickets are drawn every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 8:59 p.m. Ticket sales close one hour prior at 7:59 p.m., and then reopen shortly after the drawing concludes.
Mega Millions, meanwhile, is drawn Tuesdays and Fridays at 9 p.m., with ticket sales closing one hour prior at 8 p.m. Sales also reopen soon after the drawing concludes. The odds of winning that jackpot are even worse than Powerball at 1 in 302.6 million.