Reuters, Published February 19 2014
Winning Powerball numbersPowerball ticket holders on Wednesday frantically checked their stubs to see whether they had hit the $400 million jackpot in the U.S. lottery that hasn't had a top prize winner since Christmas.
The prize is the sixth-largest in U.S. history, and the fourth-largest for Powerball, according to a spokesperson for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the game.
The winning numbers, drawn late on Wednesday, were 1, 17, 35, 49, 54, and 34, according to Powerball's website.
The top prize amount has been swelling since the last jackpot on Christmas Day. It has rolled over 15 times and increased in value after each drawing since then, said Carolyn Hapeman, Powerball spokeswoman in New York.
If the winner opts to take Wednesday night's prize as a lump sum, it would amount to $227.8 million, the website said.
In the last two years, Powerball prizes have increased considerably, due to ticket prices doubling to $2, and California, the nation's most populous state, joining 42 other states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands in playing the game.
The chance of claiming the jackpot is one in 175 million, regardless of how many tickets a person buys.
The biggest winner in the history of Powerball took home $590 million before taxes after purchasing a winning ticket in May 2013 in Florida.
The Powerball website said the average jackpot winnings are roughly $255 million and about 70 percent of winners buy their tickets with computer generated numbers.