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Florida city abuzz: Who among us won Powerball jackpot?

11:01 PM, May 19, 2013   |    comments
Customer buys Powerball ticket in Tampa in November. (Photo: Chris O'Meara, AP)
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USA- Today --The Florida sun was shining a little bit brighter Sunday on an unidentified person who beat odds of 175 million-to-1 on a Powerball ticket worth $590.5 million, the largest jackpot in the game's history.

The lucky numbers in Saturday night's drawing were 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball of 11. A mob of media and the curious amassed Sunday outside the Zephyr Commons Publix supermarket, in the Tampa suburb of Zephyrhills, where the winning ticket was sold.

Inside, a manager said the enthusiasm of the moment was muted, even as rumors swirled that an employee might have won.

"We're kind of excited that someone bought the ticket here, but we still have work to do," said Amanda, a manager who declined to provide her last name.

Joan Albertson, 64, a Zephyrhills resident and retiree, said she had heard the whispers that a Publix employee had not shown up for work Sunday, fueling talk in the city of about 13,000 that the winner worked there.

Albertson, who had purchased five tickets at a gas station across the street from the Publix, said that would be fine with her.

"I can't wait to find out who won," she said. "I am happy for them. We'll keep buying tickets - just because somebody else here wins doesn't mean we can't get lucky, too."

The winner can claim a lump sum of more than $370 million.

"This would be the sixth Florida Powerball winner," Florida Lottery executive Cindy O'Connell said. "We're delighted right now that we have the sole winner."

She said Florida has had more Powerball winners than any other state but did not give any indication whether anyone had stepped forward with the winning ticket in Saturday's drawing.

The jackpot barely beat out Powerball's previous record jackpot of $587.5 million that drew two winning tickets just last year. The largest U.S. jackpot was a $656 million from a Mega Millions drawing in 2012.

Consolation prizes from Saturday's drawing were making people rich, too. Tickets worth $2 million each were sold in New York state and South Carolina. And 33 people in 17 states will pocket a cool $1 million. Six of them were sold in New York state.

Powerball tickets are sold in 43 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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