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Who Is The Million Dollar Powerball Winner In Winona County?

Posted at: 11/29/2012 9:07 PM
Updated at: 11/29/2012 10:12 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen

(ABC 6 News) -- The largest Powerball jackpot ever has been won. Now the question remains who are the new multi-millionaires. Lottery officials in Missouri say they've verified a winning ticket and are planning an 11 a.m. news conference.

It’s still unclear though if the ticket belongs to a single person or a group. The same for the ticket sold in Arizona where the winner still hasn't come forward.

The jackpot was worth $588 million dollars. With the cash option payout before taxes, each ticket would bring the winner $192 million dollars.

Locally, it wasn't the big jackpot but somebody in Southeast Minnesota hit big Wednesday night. A winning ticket sold in Winona County that is worth $1 million dollars.

One of our news crews found plenty of people who played, but not the million dollar winner. They stopped by Saint Charles, Lewiston, Stockton, Utica, and Winona. Not one person seemed to know who the mysterious winner is.

"When they said Winona county I - oh my God - I wonder who that is? And where it is, ya know? Could be just- anywhere," says Thomas Weaver who bought five tickets for Wednesday’s drawing.

"It's awesome. Especially for being all over the country. It's pretty cool," says Cheyenne Gibbs, a Cenex gas station employee who also bought a ticket.

The winning numbers were 5, 16, 22, 23, and 29. Minnesota state lottery officials say the winner matched those five numbers but missed the Powerball number, which was 6.

"All you got to do is keep trying you know," says Weaver.

We asked employees at several stores if they knew who the winner was but no one did. The only thing they did know was people sure like playing the Powerball.

"There's some people that bought 10, 15, we've seen 130 tickets," says Gibbs.

"Tons of tickets. And we had actually ran out of some Powerball slips so some people wanted their own special numbers so we had some lines," says Stockton Pumphouse manager, Jacque Banicki. The lines at most stores were people dreaming about what they'd do if they'd won.

"I've already decided that I'd help out my friends and family as far as their mortgages, and any kids in my life, I'd pay for college and stuff," says Banicki.

"Basically the same thing I'm doing now, ya know. Not much different, ya know. It just - ya know put it away, spend it wisely," says Weaver.

But if you ask around the county, the question on everyone's minds is still who is this mysterious million dollar winner?

"That's a lot of money...that's a lot of money!" says Gibbs.

"I don't think it's going to be a mystery for too long, honestly. Winona County- there's going to be a lot of people out checking their tickets," says Banicki.

"It's unbelievable. We just don't know who it is yet," says Weaver.

The Minnesota State Lottery office says the million dollar winner has a year to claim their prize. Until then, it won't be released which store the ticket was sold at.