South Carolina lottery official Paula Harper Bethea says that the identity of Wednesday night's $399.4 million Powerball jackpot remains a mystery.
A single winning ticket was sold for the $400 million Powerball drawn Wednesday night — one of the biggest prizes in the multi-state game ever, lottery officials announced early Thursday.
After 11 weeks of winnerless drawings, one lucky ticket snagged the $399 million powerball jackpot Thursday night, purchased at a gas station in Lexington, South Carolina. The winner has not yet come forward. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez reports.
The one grand prize winner was purchased at a Murphy USA convenience store in Lexington, S.C., with the numbers 7, 10, 22, 32, 35 and a Powerball of 19.
The ticket holder can claim an annuity valued at almost $400 million -- $13 million for the next 29 years -- or take a lump sum in cash of $223 million — about $134 million after taxes, officials said.
"There is somebody out there who is $399.4 million richer than they were yesterday!" Paula Harper Bethea, executive director of South Carolina Educational Lottery said Thursday at a morning news conference.
"If the (winner) is watching, we encourage them to: 1. sign the back of the check, 2. put it in a safe location, and then 3. seek counsel.
"This is life changing, there are a lot of zeroes in the amount of money this person or these persons are going to get."
Powerball had put the odds of winning the jackpot at 1 in 175 million after 11 winnerless drawings had passed since Aug. 10.
The latest jackpot comes after a whopping $448 million prize in early August, which was split among three tickets.
A group of 16 Ocean County, N.J., employees — dubbed the "Ocean's 16" — who had all gone through Superstorm Sandy together and had each put in $6 to purchase lottery tickets split that take with Mario Scarnici of South Brunswick, N.J., and Paul White of Minnesota.
The Powerball jackpot winners "Oceans 16" will split $86 million. The group included those whose homes Hurricane Sandy damaged or destroyed and the daughter of a New Jersey legislator who sponsored the bill that created the state lottery. NBC's Katy Tur reports.
In May, an 84-year-old widow in Florida won the biggest Powerball jackpot in history — a $590 million haul. Gloria C. MacKenzie bought her golden ticket at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills.
Wednesday's jackpot was the fourth largest ever for Powerball and the fifth largest ever in any U.S. lottery.
Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands
The game's prizes are getting larger, in part because the ticket price rose to $2 from $1 in January, and because California, the most populous state, joined in April.
NBC News' Hasani Gittens contributed to this story
This story was originally published on Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:42 AM EDT