Powerball Jackpot Just Under $580 Million

Updated: 11/28/2012 10:32 PM KSTP.com By: Ellen McNamara

It is an exciting time with the Powerball jackpot now at nearly 580 million dollars.

The latest figure was announced during the show when the lotto numbers were drawn Wednesday evening.

The winning numbers are 5, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 6 for the powerball.

Thousands of Minnesotans raced to purchase their tickets before 9 p.m. on the night of the drawing. 

Many folks are anxious to learn who wins, and that includes employees at the Minnesota State Lottery.

The lunch ladies are legends at The Minnesota State Lottery.

"Everyone remembers that they didn't come to claim their prize because they had to make the school lunch for the kids," Debbie Hoffmann said.

Tom and Kathleen Morris of Burnsville are still talked about. The couple won 228 million.

Farrah Slad became an instant millionaire.

In fact, 21 times, Powerball winners have been crowned in Minnesota.

Because many want to be number 22, ticket sales have been outrageous. The jackpot went from 500 million dollars to 550 million to nearly 580 million on the same day of the drawing.

Around lunch time, $20 to $25 worth of tickets were being sold every single second.

"Hopefully we're going to have a Minnesotans name on it, (big check)" Hoffmann said.

Before the new millionaire is handed a check, and tells reporters how they plan to spend their dough, the ticket has to be validated.

"The first thing people do when they get here is they have the ticket out, they want it out of their possession," Hoffmann said.

Lottery employees say winners almost always wait.

"We prefer that they do consult with an advisor of some sort because we cannot give out legal advice or tax advice, Ed Van Petten said.

Taxes will be taken out though.

If a Minnesotan wins, they can claim the prize immediately and then would have 60 days to decide if they want a cash payout or have payments spread out over 30 years.

It is a decision no one would mind having to make.