Residents miss out in Powerball, but state scores big
The state scored a big win in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, even though residents couldn't say the same.
State residents missed out on a share of Wednesday's record jackpot, which hit $588 million by the time the drawing was over. Winners in Arizona and Missouri, who have yet to come forward, will get to split that pot.
All told, 8,924,125 winning tickets were sold across 42 states, Washington, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Total non-jackpot winnings came in at $131,519,015, according to the Powerball website.
West Virginia didn't prove to be especially lucky in this drawing.
There were 62,511 winning tickets sold across the state, though total prizes won on those tickets amounted to only $376,441.
West Virginia Lottery spokesman Randy Burnside said the four biggest winners matched four numbers and the Powerball in Wednesday's drawing. But their winnings were nowhere close to $588 million.
"We did have four tickets that were sold in West Virginia that won $10,000," Burnside said. "None of the four paid the extra $1 for the Powerplay option that would have increased their win to $40,000."
Only 3,541 winners across the state won using the Powerplay option, which multiplies prize amounts.
The largest class of winners was people with tickets matching only the Powerball number, which wins a $4 prize. There were 33,018 Powerball-matching tickets sold in the state, totaling $132,072 in wins for that $4 prize category.
The $376,661 in prizes pales in comparison to the amount state retailers brought in selling tickets.
Burnside said state retailers sold $4,077,308 worth of tickets for the Wednesday drawing period, which ran from 10 p.m. Saturday to 9:59 p.m. Wednesday.
That figure surpassed the $3.8 million worth of all Powerball, MegaMillions and Hot Lotto tickets sold in the state through the entire month of October.
Sales reached a fever pitch Wednesday, when retailers logged one-day sales of $2.7 million.
"During the 6 p.m. hour, we had a peak of more than 1,200 Powerball transactions per minute in West Virginia," Burnside said.
With a minimum of $2 in revenue per transaction, that means state retailers were selling at least $40 worth of Powerball tickets every second.
In addition to the $4 million in sales from this drawing, retailers sold about $1.2 million worth of tickets ahead of Saturday's Powerball drawing.
When combined, that means state retailers sold nearly $5.3 million in Powerball tickets in the last week.
Half of that money goes to the prize pool of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game.
The other half stays in state.
Once prize amounts are paid out, that means the state will have well over $2 million to appropriate to the various education, senior and tourism programs supported by Lottery proceeds.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at email@example.com or 304-348-5148.