New Jersey man identified as $338M Powerball jackpot winner

March 25, 2013 5:48:51 PM PDT
A 44-year-old New Jersey man has been identified as the winner of a $338 million Powerball jackpot.

Several media outlets were at Passaic 's Eagle Liquors store, where the ticket was sold, late Monday afternoon when Pedro Quezada entered.

They report that the store owner ran Quezada's ticket through the lottery machine to validate that it was a winner.

The New Jersey Lottery confirmed that the winning ticket was validated at the store at 4:30 p.m. Monday, but officials said they didn't yet know the winner's name.

Meanwhile, all day Monday Eagle Liquor's store has been buzzing.

"We are very excited about this Powerball win. It's great that we brought it to New Jersey, or we were lucky enough to sell it in New Jersey. I am very excited for the winner or winners and I do hope they come forward very soon," said NJ Lottery Director Carole Hedinger.

Liquor store employee Pravin Mankodia, 67, who has worked at Eagle for seven years, sold the ticket. "It feels awesome, we feel so lucky," he said.

The store will get $10,000. The owner said he'll probably use some of the money to fix up the store and also share some with employees.

Previously, the manager of the Love's Travel Stops and Country Store in Bordentown told news outlets that he took a phone call from a truck driver who claimed he bought the winning ticket.

That claim is now known to be untrue.

"I can't speculate on why they think they sold that ticket, and I can't speculate on why somebody may have called them or what they said. I really don't know what that conversation was," said Hedinger.

A $1 million Powerball ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 17 Franklin Turnpike in Mahwah, Bergen County.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Lottery said two $1 million Powerball tickets were sold in our area. One was sold 7-Eleven, 255 W. Horsham Road in Horsham, Montgomery County and the other was sold at Hess Express, 3640 Route 309 in Orefield, Lehigh County.

The numbers drawn were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. A lump sum payout would be $221 million.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.

No one had won the Powerball jackpot since early February, when Dave Honeywell in Virginia bought the winning ticket and elected a cash lump sum for his $217 million jackpot.

The largest Powerball jackpot ever came in at $587.5 million in November. The winning numbers were picked on two different tickets - one by a couple in Missouri and the other by an Arizona man - and the jackpot was split.

Nebraska still holds the record for the largest Powerball jackpot won on a single ticket - $365 million - by eight workers at a Lincoln meatpacking plant in February 2006.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report


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