POWERBALL WINNING NUMBERS: 17, 49, 54, 35, 01 - Powerball 34
California lottery officials said the ticket was sold at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, a city about 10 miles north of San Jose. The business will receive $1 million
for selling the winning ticket. Rajwinder Singh, an employee at the Chevron store, said late Wednesday that he believed he was probably the person who sold the winning ticket.
"I've been here working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.," he told The Associated Press. "I hope I'll find out soon."
Early Thursday morning, the scene was quiet with just few customers at the 24-hour store and gas station just off Interstate 880, a region of corporate office in the Silicon Valley area.
The nation's biggest lottery prize was a $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in 2012. The biggest Powerball jackpot was a $590.5 million last May.
That ticket was the only one to match all the winning numbers, Powerball officials said late Wednesday.
The jackpot was estimated at $425.3 million, with a cash payout option of $242.2 million. It's one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history - but still far from the record.
Wednesday's drawing also saw 17 tickets match enough numbers to win $1 million, and one ticket won a $2 million prize, according to a statement from Rose J. Hudson, chair of the Powerball Game Group and President of the Louisiana Lottery.
"Here's a bit of advice for all of those big Powerball winners: If you haven't already, sign the back of your tickets and store them in a safe place," Hudson said. "Use the claim time period to consult trusted financial and legal professionals; then you'll be prepared to bask in an amazing Powerball winning experience!"
Changes to top lottery games have created bigger jackpots in shorter periods of time. More than half of the top 10 prizes in U.S. lottery history have occurred since 2012, according to statistics provided by the Multi-State Lottery Association.
Powerball's game changes in January 2012 included an increase in ticket price from $1 to $2. Starting jackpots went from $20 million to $40 million, and pots increased by more money with each roll. Mega Millions also went through a revamp that included decreasing the odds of winning the top prize to 1 in about 259 million.
Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of matching all six numbers in the game are 1 in about 175 million.