HALIFAX, N.C. — Lottery officials announced Friday that a winning Powerball ticket, worth an estimated $74.5 million, was sold at Shell Travel World in Halifax.
The winner, who has yet to come forward, holds the first winning Powerball ticket sold in the state since North Carolina joined the multi-state game in May.
"You use the word historic. We're right here at historic Halifax," said Bernie Robertson, vice president of Newsome Oil, the local company that owns the store near the intersection of N.C. Highway 903 and Interstate 95.
The winning numbers in Wednesday night's drawing were 2, 8, 9, 12 and 19, and the Powerball was 25. The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 146 million.
"This is huge. This is fabulous for this state," North Carolina Education Lottery spokeswoman Pamela Walker said.
The winner has 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim his or her prize at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He or she can receive the winnings in 30 annual payments or in a lump sum of about $36 million.
The store, on the other hand, gets no cut of the winnings. Unlike other states, North Carolina lawmakers didn't write such a reward into the state's lottery law, but lottery officials said they might address that issue in the next legislative session.
Meanwhile, the biggest remaining question is the identity of the winner.
"I have heard a name. I have heard a family name," Robertson said, declining to say who he thinks holds the winning ticket.
He said he hopes the winner is a Halifax resident.
"That's what I'm hearing, and that would even be greater. That would be wonderful," he said.