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Society

Powerball Winner Stays Hidden

TRENTON, N.J. — The winner of the $429.6 million Powerball jackpot has yet to come forward to claim the prize, as the New Jersey store that sold the winning ticket celebrates.

Only one ticket matched all six Powerball numbers in the May 7th’s night drawing. The winning numbers were 5-25-26-44-66 and the Powerball number was 9.

Lottery officials in New Jersey said the ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in the state capital of Trenton. It was purchased as a cash ticket and is valued at $284 million. The vendor that sold the ticket also gets a prize, but the amount has not yet been announced.

“Congratulations to 7-Eleven for selling this winning ticket and to the fortunate ticketholder who purchased the ticket,” said Carole Hedinger, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director. “We look forward to meeting the winner of this record-setting jackpot.”

The jackpot is the sixth-largest in Powerball jackpot history, and the largest single jackpot winning ticket sold in New Jersey.

Marcelo Chilel said that when he heard the ticket was sold in Mercer County, he thought it would be great if it was sold at the store where he works. And when he found out that was the case, he says he felt very happy for the customer.

“We have never had a winning ticket this big, not even close,” said Chilel, adding that his colleagues are amazed that it happened. “It’s great that they got it here.”

The jackpot was the largest since a record $1.6 billion payout in January. That jackpot was shared by three winning tickets.

Only one winning ticket will claim the prize, though it was not immediately known if that ticket was held by one person or multiple people.

This isn’t the first time Powerball luck has struck in New Jersey. In 2013, a sole ticket claimed a $383 million Powerball jackpot.

Seven tickets from the May 7 drawing matched five numbers and claimed $1 million, including three in New York, two in Illinois and one apiece in California and Virginia.

Powerball is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The odds of winning are one in 292.2 million.

The New Jersey Lottery said it will hold a press conference on May 9 at the 7-Eleven to discuss the details of the winning ticket.

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By Bruce Shipowski. AP writer David Aguilar, in Chicago, contributed

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