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2 Winners to Split Powerball Jackpot

Mark, left, and Cindy, center, Hill are presented a check by a Missouri Lottery official during the announcement of Powerball winners in Dearborn, Missouri, November 30, 2012.
Two people are America’s newest multi-millionaires, having selected the six winning numbers in the nationwide Powerball lottery.

Lottery officials verified that the two ticket holders will split nearly $588 million in the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history. Such jackpots grow every time there is a drawing with no winner. In this case the drawings went on for two months.

One of the winning tickets was sold at a convenience store near Phoenix, Arizona. The other was purchased at a gas station in Dearborn, Missouri. The Missouri winner is expected to be announced soon. The Arizona winner has not stepped forward. He or she has 180 days to claim the prize money.

Employees of the Arizona store sold 986 Powerball tickets on Wednesday, which the store manager said is well above average.

Powerball tickets sold nationally at a rate of 130,000 a minute, about six times the volume from a week ago. The surge pushed the final multi-state jackpot higher. More than 189 million tickets were sold for this drawing, even though players had less than one chance in 175 million to win.

In a Mega Millions lottery drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, the largest U.S. lottery payout of all time.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.