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Winning tickets sought in $588M Powerball jackpot

By Brian Skoloff and Maria Sudekum

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:24 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2012

DEARBORN, Mo. » The search is on for the country's newest multimillionaires, the holders of two tickets that matched all six numbers to claim a record $588 million Powerball jackpot.

Lottery officials said today that the winning tickets matching all six numbers were sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix and a gas station just off Interstate 29 in a small northwestern Missouri town. Neither ticket holder had come forward.

The mystery fueled a giddy mood at the Trex Mart just outside Dearborn, Mo. — population 500 — as lottery officials and the media descended.

Cashiers Kristi Williams and Kelly Blount greeted customers with big smiles and questions about whether they had bought the winning ticket. No one had come forward to claim the prize by late this morning, Missouri Lottery officials said.

"It's just awesome," Williams said. "It's so exciting. We can't even work."

The winning ticket sold in Arizona was purchased at a 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, Ariz., state lottery officials said.

In Dearborn, Williams said several local people buy lottery tickets there regularly and workers were hoping it was one of their regulars.

But Baron Hartell, son of the store's owner, Lowell Hartell, said truck drivers moving in both directions on the north-south interstate that connects Kansas City to the Canadian border who frequent the store are also considered locals.

"Even the truck drivers who come around, we see them every day, so they all feel like all locals to us," he said.

Store manager Chris Naurez said business had been "crazy" for Powerball tickets lately and that the store had sold about $27,000 worth of tickets in the last few days.

"This really puts Dearborn on the map," he said.

The general manager of Trex Mart suggested his staff would be sharing in the $50,000 bounty that the store will be awarded for selling one of the winning tickets.

"The response from the owner was, 'I guess we'll be able to give out Christmas bonuses,'" General Manager Kenny Gilbert said. "That's nice, especially at this time of year."

It appeared the winners had yet to come forward, and it wasn't clear if the tickets had been bought by individuals or groups. Winners have 180 days to claim their share of the prize money.

The numbers drawn Wednesday night were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball was 6. The $587.5 million payout represents the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history.

"If you find you're holding the winning ticket, be sure you sign the back and put it in a safe place until you can take it to a Missouri Lottery office," said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. "You will also want to get some legal and financial advice before you claim."

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false wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if someone form Hawaii was the winner? Oh, sorry, our legislatures feel we are not intelligent enough to take care of ourselves and make our own decisions. It is comforting to know that they can spend my money much wiser than I can.
on November 29,2012 | 09:55AM
Mythman wrote:
No, they just haven't figured out yet how to scre w it up for us.
on November 29,2012 | 11:24AM
false wrote:
And Tickets will only be available at the Kalaupapa international Airport.
on November 29,2012 | 01:11PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
It is a proven fact that people from Hawaii are less able to handle the economic stresses and strains and moral ambiguity that come with gambling. That is why we have to take half a million plane trips to Las Vegas each year. Gambling "over there" is morally OK, while legally gambling over here would cause our society to capsize in sea of immorality. Plus, it has been shown by people a lot smarter than us, that we are too stupid to understand that gambling is a form of entertainment. The churches, the legislators, the "leaders," know what is best for us.
on November 29,2012 | 04:58PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Two other states have casinos. Is Hawaii a Mormon state? Is Hawaii people so irresponsible that gambling is going to ruin us? Is Hawaii government too inept to handle a lottery? What is the problem here?
on November 29,2012 | 06:52PM
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