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Powerball mania sweeps the nation

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 4th, 2012

By Billy Stitz

The two-dollar devil that is a Powerball ticket has infiltrated the entire United States, taking the dreams of many, only to flood the pockets of a few lucky patrons.

This past week, millions of people went to their local gas station in order to purchase a tiny piece of paper with six seemingly worthless numbers on it. Well at least for 99% of those people, the numbers were worthless.

Nobody in South Dakota won the record shattering Powerball prize of over $587.5 million but you did not have to leave Interstate 29 to find one of the two lucky ticket holders.

One of the winning tickets was sold in Dearborn, Missouri, a town about the size of Colman and a short 360-mile drive down I29. The other ticket has yet to be claimed but was sold in Fountain Hills, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. The two winners will have the option to share $384.7 million before taxes, or about $192 million a piece.

But South Dakota did not get left out of the Powerball fun. A group of Sioux Falls city workers were able to cash in on a $10,000 prize by matching four white numbers and the Powerball.

It is likely that those Sioux Falls workers purchased their tickets on the night of the drawing, like most people did. Tickets were selling at 130,000 tickets a minute nationwide on Wednesday – six times the volume from the week prior.

South Dakota was no exception to the trend. Locals shattered the record for sales in one day by purchasing over $1.3 million in tickets, destroying the old record of what now seems like a mere $774,800 on the Mega Millions drawing earlier this year. Sales peaked in the final hour when South Dakotan’s shelled out $145,000 before the drawing closed.

34 Stop in Colman sold over $2,100 in tickets on Wednesday, which is about 1,070 tickets if you account for people purchasing the ‘powerplay’ option. For a town of less than 600, that number is astronomical, especially considering they normally only sell a handful of tickets on a normal Wednesday night according to store owner Skins Hannasch,

42 states, The District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands all take part in the Powerball. The next drawing will start at $40 million as it does every new cycle and will continue to increase until somebody wins it and if no body does for 16 straight weeks - then we may see this madness once again.

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