CHICOPEE, Mass. — A mistake by the Massachusetts State Lottery on Thursday injected a little extra drama into the massive $758.7 million Powerball drawing — the largest won by a single ticket in U.S. history — after lottery officials initially bungled their announcement and gave the wrong shop and location.
The lottery corrected the site where the single winning ticket was sold to Chicopee, Massachusetts. Overnight, they had announced the winning ticket was sold at a shop in Watertown, just outside Boston.
But shortly before 8 a.m., the lottery said it had made a mistake, and that the winning ticket was sold at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, about halfway across the state.
The lottery did not say how the error was made. Michael Sweeney, the lottery’s executive director, told WBZ-AM they had a “couple of excited people at 1 o’clock in the morning,” adding that if there’s any blame to be placed, the buck stops with him.
It said the store in Watertown did sell a ticket that won a $1 million prize. Reporters had descended on the store hours before it opened around 6:30 a.m.
Mike Donatelli, a spokesman for the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, says they were told shortly before 8 a.m. that the store had actually sold that ticket.
Sweeney said the store will pocket $50,000 for selling the jackpot winner.
By midmorning, no winner had come forward. The lucky numbers from Wednesday night’s drawing were 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and the Powerball number was 4.
Powerball is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of which collectively oversee the game. Drawings are held twice a week. Five white balls are drawn from a drum containing 69 balls and one red ball is selected from a drum with 26 balls. Players can choose their numbers or let a computer make a random choice.