Five New Yorkers had an extra merry Christmas Monday night as they cashed winning Powerball tickets worth at least five figures despite not hitting the big jackpot worth over $600 million.
Four lucky city-dwellers scored $50,000 third-prizes for having four matching numbers and the Powerball on their tickets in the Dec. 25 drawing. One other winner had a third-prize worth $100,000 for having a Powerplay ticket, an extra bet that doubles the value of lesser prizes won.
The $100,000 Powerplay winner was sold in Harlem at 145 Food Plaza Corp., a bodega located at 701 Lenox Ave.
Two of the four $50,000 winning tickets were purchased in Queens from the Astoria Smoke Shop (d/b/a R&R News), located at 22-44 31st St. in Astoria; and the Baba Super Market located at 124-12 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill.
The other two $50,000 winners were bought in the Bronx from the BP gas station (d/b/a 1930 Bartow Ave. Petroleum LLC), located at 1930 Bartow Ave. in Baychester; and J&M Wine & Liquor, located at 293 East 170th St. in Claremont.
Each of the winners defied some significant odds in scoring just the third-place prize. According to the New York Lottery, a player has nearly a one-in-a-million chance (1 in 913,129.18, to be exact) of matching four of the five numbers plus the Powerball on their ticket.
As for hitting the big jackpot, forget about it! Your odds of scoring all five drawn numbers and the Powerball are truly astronomical: 1 in 292,201,338. To put that in perspective, as one University of Buffalo study showed, you have a better chance of being elected president of the United States than you do of hitting the Powerball jackpot.
Those impossible odds, however, won’t stop millions of people from trying their luck again Wednesday night and shelling out cash for Powerball tickets. And why wouldn’t they? The jackpot for the Dec. 27 drawing has swelled to $685 million, or a lump sum cash value of $344.7 million. That pays a lot of bills, and then some.
For more on the Powerball drawing, visit nylottery.org.