One Virginia Lottery player is $2 million richer, but the big one – a Powerball jackpot well over half-a-billion dollars – is still up for grabs.
On Monday a shopper at Stop In Food Store in Christiansburg (2375 Roanoke Street) bought a winning ticket worth $2M.
The winner from the Jan. 27 drawing hasn’t yet come forward, so the identity remains a mystery.
But we do know how that player scored such a handsome payday.
One ball short of a Powerball jackpot
The Christiansburg lotto player matched the first five Powerball numbers of 21-22-39-44-60. However, the player failed to match the Powerball number of 12. Therefore, the estimated jackpot for the next Powerball drawing has climbed to $570 million.
Still, there was some good news for the Christiansburg player (ya know, besides the two-million bucks). The player paid an extra $1 for the Power Play option. That Powerball add-on option doubles any non-jackpot prizes.
In this case, the player doubled a would-be $1 million score to a whopping $2 million.
Additionally, despite Powerball being available in 48 US states and territories, no other players matched the first five numbers for the January 27 drawing. Only the Christiansburg player defied the 1-in-11.7 million odds.
The player has 180 days to claim the prize. The owners of Stop In Food Store, meanwhile, will receive $10,000 for selling the $2 million Powerball winner.
Powerball drawings take place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m.
Yes, you can save money on lottery tickets
We know the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are long. Very, very long. Astronomically long.
The odds of winning the big one – all five white balls plus the red Powerball – are 1 in 292.2 million.
With Powerball, the house edge is usually between 30 and 50 percent, though it depends on the jackpot size. That means for every dollar you spend on Powerball tickets, you’ll theoretically lose between 30 and 50 cents in the long run. However, unless you win a major prize along the way, such as $50,000 for matching four white balls and the Powerball, it’s going to be a losing proposition over the long haul.
But there is a way to stretch your lotto dollars and squeeze out a few extra Powerball tickets if you’re a regular player.
You can actually buy Powerball tickets online via the VA Lottery. However, in addition to the convenience of buying tickets from your phone or computer, the Virginia Lottery also often offers deposit bonuses.
For example, earlier this week, the Virginia Lottery offered to match all online deposits by 30%, up to $100. Last week, the VA Lotto offered 50% off a Powerball purchase of $20.
Just be sure you’ve created an online lotto account and make sure you’re signed up for mailings. In addition to deposit and ticket matches, lotto officials will also often reward deposits with free plays of the Virginia Lottery e-instant games.
And sure, these discounts and bonuses won’t improve your odds for each individual Powerball drawing. However, they can keep you in the game a little longer, and thus, keep you daydreaming a little longer about winning a Powerball jackpot for your own.