State is 1st to have 3 consecutive winners 3 times, officials of multistate game say
The mystery of the state's nickname "Hoosier" was surely solved Thursday: It must mean "lucky."
The announcement of Powerball's third consecutive winning ticket makes Indiana the only state to sell three in a row an unparalleled three times.
No one had claimed the $12.8 million jackpot by 5 p.m. Thursday, when the Hoosier Lottery office closed. The earlier back-to-back wins were in October and included Regina Mandabach, a 29-year-old single mother from Washington, Ind., who won $95.4 million, her share of the Oct. 25 Powerball jackpot of $190.9 million.
Thursday's winning ticket puts another notch on Indiana's lottery money belt:
" The game's first winning ticket was sold in Indiana in 1992.
" Indiana produced triple winners in each of three years: 1992, 1996 and now.
" Indiana has the most twice-in-a-row wins: in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2002. Three states have logged back-to-back wins one time each.
" Indiana counts 31 wins overall, more than any of the other participants in Powerball -- 23 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- said spokesman Joe Mahoney.
Indiana's winning ways partly reflect the state's lottery longevity.
It was one of the original Powerball states in 1992 and was among the most populous, so more customers meant more chances to win, Hoosier Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed noted.
Powerball doesn't influence Hoosier Lottery sales, he said. "We think different people play different games, since the Powerball jackpot amount grows faster than the Hoosier Lotto," he said.
Powerball starts at $10 million; Lotto opens at $1 million.
Hoosier Lottery Director Jack Ross did get some good-natured chiding Thursday from colleagues around the country.
"I've had a number of e-mails today telling me to quit hogging all the prizes," he said, chuckling.
Other states may be envious because Indiana benefits, too.
The three latest winning tickets could bring about $2 million in income taxes to state coffers.
Teresa Haste, 33, manager of the Muncie Village Pantry store that sold its second winning ticket in five years, is eager to learn which customer bought it. "Yeah, one set of numbers is all it takes -- but the odds are crazy."
They're 1 in 120,526,770, according to the Des Moines-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball.