Kinston Farmer, Son From Winterville Split Million Dollar Powerball Prize

A Kinston farmer and his son were quick to claim one of three $1 million prizes won in Wednesday night's historic Powerball drawing.

Lesie Rouse and his son Christopher, who lives in Winterville, learned of their big win when the son checked the numbers this morning. He immediately called his dad. "I called and asked him what it means if I get five numbers in a row," said Christopher. "He didn't believe me."

"We looked at it and it was a million dollars," Leslie said. "We are tickled to death."

By matching all five white balls and not the Powerball, the Rouses beat odds of 1 in 5.1 million. They purchased their lucky ticket at the Kangaroo Express on U.S. 258 in Kinston.

"This was Chris' first ever Powerball ticket," said the father. "I bought tickets and handed him one and told him if we win, then we split it. I can't believe we're here."

The Rouses each claimed a $500,000 prize today at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After taxes, they each received a check for $340,000.

Two other $1 million tickets were sold in the state, one in Charlotte and the other in Burlington. Two tickets actually matched all five numbers and the Powerball, those were sold in Arizona and Missouri.

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North Carolina lottery officials say one of the three million dollar tickets sold in the state during last night's big Powerball jackpot was purchased in Kinston.

There were two tickets for the $587.5 million jackpot sold in Arizona and Missouri, while three people here in North Carolina will win $1 million a Match 5 winners. One of those tickets was sold at the Kangaroo Express on Highway 258 in Kinston. Others were purchased in Charlotte and Burlington.

Those million dollar tickets matched all five white balls, while another 14 tickets matched four of the five numbers. They will receive $10,000 each.

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The numbers have been drawn for a record-breaking Powerball drawing of $580 million.

The numbers are 5, 23, 16, 22, 29. The Powerball is 6.

The Powerball website says winning jackpot tickets were sold in Arizona and Missouri.

At least one ticket sold in North Carolina is worth $1 million for someone who is a Match 5 Winner.

The record Powerball jackpot just keeps rising. It now stands at $550 million after officials say brisk sales keep driving up the payout amount.

The jackpot was boosted to $500 million on Tuesday and raised again Wednesday morning to $550 million.

A winner taking the cash option would get $360.2 million before taxes.

The numbers are an estimate and could be increased again as the drawing nears.

Powerball officials say they now believe there is a 75 percent chance that the winning combination of numbers will be drawn Wednesday night.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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The record Powerball jackpot is now even bigger.

Powerball officials say they've boosted the jackpot for Wednesday's drawing to $500 million from the previously posted $425 million. Huge ticket sales nationally are pushing the payout higher.

A single winner choosing the cash payout will take home $327 million before taxes.

Record jackpots encourage players who usually sit on the sidelines to play and group purchases from work pools increase.

The jackpot is the largest ever for the Powerball game and the second largest lottery jackpot of all time, eclipsed only by the $656 million Mega Millions record set in March.

Officials with the North Carolina Education Lottery say the jackpot has been a boon to ticket sales.

Lottery spokesman Van Denton said Tuesday that sales for the current jackpot have reached $28.1 million since the last winner on Oct. 6. Denton said sales for the three days prior to last Saturday's drawing reached $5.2 million, which is the highest three-day take during the period.

The state sold $17.6 million in tickets on March 30, when the Mega Millions jackpot hit $656 million.

You can watch the drawing live on WITN right before the 11:00 o'clock news Wednesday.