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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP/WDRB) -- The richest Powerball jackpot ever - and the second-largest top prize in U.S. lottery history -- has been won. The question is: Who are the lucky winners waking up to new lives as multimillionaires?
Powerball officials said early Thursday morning that two tickets sold in Arizona and Missouri matched all six numbers to win the record $587.5 million jackpot.
The numbers drawn Wednesday night are 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball is 6.
It was not clear whether the winning tickets belonged to individuals or were purchased by groups. Arizona lottery officials said early Thursday they had no information on that state's winner or winners but would announce where it was sold Thursday morning. Lottery officials in Missouri did not immediately respond to phone messages and emails seeking comment.
Americans went on a ticket-buying spree in the run-up to Wednesday's drawing, the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to purchase a shot at the second-largest payout in U.S. history.
Tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide - about six times the volume from a week ago. That pushed the jackpot even higher, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association.
Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neumauer said the jackpot was estimated at $587.5 million by early Thursday, adjusted slightly upward from the $579.9 million estimate at the time of the drawing. The cash payout was $384.7 million.
Among those who had been hoping to win was Lamar Fallie, a jobless Chicago man who said his six tickets conjured a pleasant daydream: If he wins, he plans to take care of his church, make big donations to schools and then "retire from being unemployed."
The jackpot had already rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner, but Powerball officials said Wednesday they believed there was a 75 percent chance the winning combination would be drawn this time.
Some experts had predicted that if one ticket hit the right numbers, chances were good that multiple ones would. That happened in the Mega Millions drawing in March, when three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, which remained the largest lottery payout of all time. And it happened again for Wednesday's Powerball drawing.
Yvette Gavin, who sold the tickets to Fallie, is only an occasional lottery player herself, but she said the huge jackpot compelled her to play this time. As for the promises she often gets from ticket purchasers, Gavin isn't holding her breath.
"A lot of customers say if they win they will take care of me, but I will have to wait and see," she said.
Powerball officials say winning tickets for the record $579.9 million jackpot were purchased in Arizona and Missouri. The jackpot had increased by the time of the drawing. An additional 8,924,123 players won smaller prizes.
Powerball player Rachel Hettinger was hoping win the jackpot.
"I actually talked about it with my dad last night because he has it set up -- 10 percent goes to church, save 50 percent for me and my family, and then the rest of it he had it divided up somehow," Hettinger said before Wednesday's drawing.
But the ramifications of winning all that money have proven unkind in the past. Keep in mind the lottery curse of Jack Whittaker: already a millionaire, the West Virginia man won $315 million more with Powerball.
He ended up being robbed at a strip club of a half million dollars, his wife divorced him, and he claimed bad investments left him unable to pay a settlement.
Wealth Advisor Don Woods tells us, "What starts as the great American dream can turn into the great American nightmare." Woods says whoever wins should have a cooling off period with no investments for a year: "Hire the best CP, an attorney, and a competent well-trained financial planner to help you start out with the initial decisions."
But the only sure winner is the lotteries themselves: "We look like our sales could be three or four million just today, says Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Arch Gleason.
"Our sales this past Sunday were three times the sales they were the previous Sunday," Chip Polston a spokesman for the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, told WDRB News on Monday.
Cashier Ty Ward at the Shell station says the number of people buying lottery tickets has grown tremendously during the past several days. While it is a record for Powerball, the highest lottery payout ever was last March in the Mega Millions jackpot of $650 million.
Fifty cents of every dollar spent on the lottery by the public stays in the state.
This year the Lottery Corporation will turn over $214 million to two scholarship programs in Kentucky. The state's general fund gets no money from the lottery.
"A lot of people in Kentucky have no idea that the lottery proceeds go to these programs," explains Polston, "because it is actually against the law for us to advertise where our proceeds go, we are the only lottery in the U. S. to have that kind of restriction."
Sales for the record Powerball Jackpot close at 10 o'clock Wednesday evening.