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Two tickets win $579.9 million Powerball — but not in Illinois

People buy Powerball lottery tickets 35 E Wacker 711 Wednesday November 28 2012. I Stacie Scott~Sun-Times Media

People buy Powerball lottery tickets at the 35 E Wacker 711 on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. I Stacie Scott~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 30, 2012 3:39PM



Powerball officials said early Thursday that two winning tickets for Wednesday’s $579.9 jackpot were sold: one in Arizona and one in Missouri.

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball No. 6.

On Wednesday, tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide as the jackpot enticed many people who rarely play the lottery.

David Lee wasn’t planning on buying a Powerball ticket until he visited the dentist Tuesday.

“I hadn’t been to the dentist in years and I had all of these cavities. They all were talking about the Powerball, and how much it was. I just feel like it was destiny,” said Lee of Milwaukee, who works in Chicago.

Unless he was one of the 8,924,123 players who won smaller prizes in Wednesday night’s drawing, he has yet to fulfill his destiny.

Tickets for the Powerball lottery were sold in 42 states, Washington, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people were in line to buy Powerball tickets at the 7-Eleven at Lake and Wabash downtown. Nate Baudry, who was manning the cash register for lottery tickets, is the store’s self-proclaimed “lotto guy.”

Baudry, who already had bought a ticket, said he would buy several properties in the Loop if he won big money.

“I’ll just sit back and watch more money pile up,” he said.

If a store sells a jackpot-winning ticket, they receive a commission. Store owner Jim Bayci, whose store sold a winning Little Lotto ticket four years ago, would share the store’s commission with employees if they sell another winner.

Many Chicagoans used the Quick Pick system to choose their numbers.

Chris Salinas said he would use what he learned in his statistics class to help him pick winning numbers. The Pilsen resident used the Quick Pick system to choose his numbers, saying, “They’re just as good as any other numbers.”

And he’s right.

According to Powerball’s website, between 70 and 80 percent of winners come from computer picks. And the same percentage of Powerball players opt to have the computer choose their numbers for them.

There’s countless other strategies people use in picking numbers: using the “cursed” numbers from the hit ABC show “Lost,” using lucky numbers, or even playing grandkids’ birthdays.

Chicago resident Charles Gardner has his own strategy. Because so many people were buying Powerball tickets, he opted for scratch-off tickets instead.

Harold Washington College student Lupe Martinez said that big wins come from the suburbs. Martinez planned to have a friend pick up a few tickets for him from convenience stores in the suburbs.

“There’s just something with the system,” he says.

If you do win a big lottery prize, you’ll face a pile of challenges that might be even bigger than the pile of cash you take home.

Dr. Stephen Goldbart knows all about the problems that come with big wins. Goldbart, co-director of the Money, Meaning, and Choices Institute in Kentfield, Calif., advises people on the psychological challenges that come with acquiring wealth.

“With a lottery winner, there’s a shock to who I am as a person, to the decisions I make, who I know and what others will expect of me. Money is a big part of our psychological identity,” Goldbart said. “There are a number of risks. Money can either result in an over-entitlement as to who you are as a person, versus at the other end, extreme tremendous guilt. People think they have to hide out or guard the fact that they made money.”

Goldbart, co-author of “Affluence Intelligence,” said that for newfound wealth, such as a big lottery prize, 75 percent of the money is gone within five years.

But Goldbart said there’s a way to make the money work.

“The first thing I would advise people to do is to go into seclusion. The best thing to do is withdraw for a week with people you trust,” Goldbart said. “The second thing I would do is gather an advisory team of professionals, who will consider your values in spending and sharing. Take your time and come up with a thoughtful plan.”



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