Tar Heel state outsells S.C.; an N.C. ticket holder wins $200,000
North Carolina's lottery won its first head-to-head showdown with South Carolina's game this week. The Tar Heel state collected more than three times the cash in ticket sales than its southern neighbor during the run up to the first Powerball drawing involving both states.
An N.C. lottery ticket holder also won big. Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in North Carolina won $200,000 in Wednesday's Powerball drawing, N.C. Education Lottery officials said Thursday.
Lottery retailers in North Carolina sold $3.1 million in tickets between the time the state started offering Powerball tickets on Tuesday and Powerball's drawing Wednesday evening — collecting more money than any other state, lottery officials said Thursday. South Carolina buyers purchased $930,000 in tickets.
S.C. Education Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue noted North Carolina has more potential ticket buyers. (North Carolina has about 8.6 million residents while South Carolina's population is about 4.2 million, according to 2004 census estimates.)
But Passailaigue said he believes North Carolina's Powerball offering took away some typical S.C. ticket buyers.
"It seemed like to me, the draw was a little light compared to other draws," he said.
Players in the Carolinas and 27 other states were vying for a $38 million jackpot.
In Powerball, players select five numbers (picked with white balls) and a Powerball number (a red ball). To win the jackpot, the player's ticket must have all six numbers. A $200,000 prize goes to anyone who has all five white numbers but not the red Powerball number. Prizes also go to ticket-holders who have fewer than five white numbers.
No one won the top prize in Wednesday's drawing, but a player who bought a ticket at a Wilco gas station in Aberdeen matched five of the six numbers picked in the drawing. The $200,000 winner had not staked a claim on the prize by Thursday afternoon, lottery official said.
That made the purchaser the biggest prize winner since North Carolina launched a state lottery with scratch-off games two months ago.
Powerball officials are guessing the game's top prize will reach $48 million before the next drawing on Saturday.
North Carolina's lottery will have a booth in the food court at Concord Mills on today and Saturday.
The lottery will give away promotional prizes and give mall goers the chance to buy tickets. A state lottery spokeswoman will be at the booth between noon and 3 p.m. today.