Sara Jeltis said her parents in Michigan texted her with the news Sunday morning.
"Well, it didn't click till I came here," she said, gesturing to the half-dozen TV live trucks humming in the Publix parking lot. "And I'm like, wow I can't believe it, it's shocking! Out of the whole country, this Publix, in little Zephyrhills would be the winner."
With four out of every five possible combinations of Powerball numbers in play, lottery executives said Saturday that someone was almost certain to win the game's highest jackpot, a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars - and that's after taxes.
The winning numbers were 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball of 11.
Estimates had earlier put the jackpot at around $600 million. But Powerball's online site said Sunday that the jackpot had reached an estimated $590.5 million.
The world's largest jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012.
Terry Rich, CEO of the Iowa Lottery, initially confirmed that one Florida winning ticket had been sold. He told AP that following the Florida winner, the Powerball grand prize was being reset at an estimated jackpot of $40 million, or about $25.1 million cash value.
The chances of winning the prize were astronomically low: 1 in 175.2 million. That's how many different ways you can combine the numbers when you play. But lottery officials estimated that about 80 percent of those possible combinations had been purchased recently.
While the odds are low for any one individual or individuals, O'Connell said, the chance that one hits paydirt is what makes Powerball exciting.
"There is just the chance that you will have the opportunity, and Florida is a huge Powerball state," O'Connell said. "We have had more winners than any other state that participates in Powerball."
The longshot odds didn't deter people across Powerball-playing states - 43 plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands - from lining up at gas stations and convenience stores Saturday.
Clyde Barrow, a public policy professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, specializes in the gaming industry. He said one of the key factors behind the ticket-buying frenzy is the size of the jackpot - people are interested in the easy investment.
"Even though the odds are very low, the investment is very small," he said. "Two dollars gets you a chance."
Lewis, who went to the Publix on Sunday to buy water, said she didn't play - and she isn't upset about it.
"Life goes on," she said, shrugging. "I'm good."