Powerball’s record-breaking draw was delayed on Monday night after a technical issue with the verification process in Minnesota, it has been revealed.
Anxious betters were left frustrated after the draw was delayed for 10 hours, with a single winner for the massive $2.04 billion only being drawn around noon on Tuesday.
‘After unprecedented lottery interest, Minnesota’s sales verifcation system caused a processing delay,’ the Minnesota Lottery said in a statement on its website.
‘The delay was necessary to confirm the Powerball drawing could be conducted securely and accurately. At no time was the integrity of the process compromised.’
The technical hitch caused the delay because the state uses a two-step verification process – where tickets are printed and transactions are recorded by a vendor, and then a second verifies the work done by the first.
On Monday night, the two systems could not ‘communicate’ and it made it impossible to balance the data.
A single ticket bought at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California matched all the numbers: white balls 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the red Powerball was 10.
The person who bought a Powerball ticket in Southern California that won a record $2.04billion jackpot will have to reveal their ID due to California state law
‘We are excited,’ he said at a press conference with California Lottery. He said he would share the money with his family, including his 11 grandchildren
The person with the winning ticket has not yet claimed their eye-watering prize, but under California state law they will have to reveal their identity.
California not only doesn’t permit lottery winners to remain anonymous, but they are compelled by law to publicly reveal their name and location, according to Mission Legal Center.
The only states that allow lotto winners to remain anonymous are Kansas, Delaware, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas and South Carolina.
Officials have argued in the past that transparency from the winner makes everyone aware that their ticket could be the real winner.
They recommend winners change their cell phone number and email, do not respond to calls or texts from strangers and hire both a financial advisor and a lawyer you trust.
The owner of Joe’s Service Center said lotto officials informed him that his store sold the winning ticket before he opened on Tuesday.
Joe, whose surname hasn’t be released, will win a won $1million share of the prize.
One of his sons said: ‘There’s no one else that deserves it more than this man.’
The official California Lottery Twitter account said it was the state’s first ever lottery billionaire.
It added: ‘We are so excited and we just can’t hide it. Not only did California have the BIG #Powerball winner, three more tickets matched 5 numbers missing just the Powerball in Gardena, Beaumont, and San Francisco. Congratulations to all our players! #CALottery’
The drama of the delayed draw, followed by incorrect reports, including by AFP, that nobody had secured the jackpot, sent social media into overdrive – with an avalanche of Powerball memes shared online.
The claim that nobody had won the prize and published on an unofficial Powerball website and Twitter account. That was then widely circulated by a respected news wire, AFP, and covered by several news outlets.
It’s not yet clear how many tickets were sold for the latest draw – but an estimated 280 million were sold for Saturday night’s draw, when the jackpot was $1.6billion.
By comparison, around 159 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election – about 63 percent of voting-age US residents.
That means it’s likely millions more tickets were sold for Tuesday’s Powerball draw than there will be votes cast in the midterms.
Monday night’s draw for the bumper prize was delayed after an unnamed state said it needed more time to process sales.
Officials carried out the draw on Tuesday morning and also said new calculations revealed the jackpot was around $100million more than the initial estimate of $1.9 billion.
It’s probable more tickets will be sold for Wednesday’s draw than votes cast in the midterms
There were 40 drawings without a winner before the prize was finally won, which caused the prize to rack up to new heights.
To win the jackpot, a person must match all six numbers. The last time a win happened was on August 3 when one Pennsylvania resident won $206.9 million.
Powerball tickets are $2 per play and are sold in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.