CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sales of Powerball tickets in West Virginia more than quadrupled last week leading up to Saturday’s drawing for a nearly $560 million jackpot, according to numbers from the West Virginia Lottery.
Randy Burnside, Lottery public relations manager, said an average week of Powerball sales for smaller jackpots brings in about $500,000.
Ahead of the Wednesday, Jan. 3 and Saturday, Jan. 6 drawings, sales climbed to $2.2 million total.
Ticket sales for MegaMillions with its Saturday jackpot of $450 million totaled roughly $978,500 in West Virginia compared with $200,000 during an average week, Burnside said.
“They’re definitely jackpot driven games and, when those jackpots get up above $300 million, a lot more people play,” he told MetroNews.
A winning ticket for the big Powerball jackpot on Saturday was sold at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack, New Hampshire, while the sole ticket that matched all numbers for Friday’s MegaMillions was purchased at 7-11 in Port Richey, Florida.
Burnside, though, said there were many other smaller prizes won like a $150,000 prize from a Powerball ticket sold ahead of Saturday’s drawing at Witschey’s Market in New Martinsville.
As of Monday morning, that prize had not been claimed.
“Just Saturday night alone, for instance, here in West Virginia, there were 25,000+ West Virginia players that won a prize from Powerball including that $150,000 winner, so always check your tickets,” he said.
“Do not throw those away just because you didn’t match all six numbers. You could still be a winner.”
A MegaMillions $10,000 ticket was sold before Friday’s drawing in Ripley at the Love’s Travel Stop off Interstate 77.
The Powerball has returned to $40 million for Wednesday’s drawing, while MegaMillions is at $40 million for Tuesday.
“A lot of folks won’t even play now until that jackpot gets to be about $250 – $300 million,” Burnside said of the expected drop in the ticket sales frenzy.
“There are a lot of prizes beyond just the jackpot amount and beyond those Match 5 prizes and, when you do play, you’re helping your state by investing in education, seniors and the tourism industry.”