WATERTOWN, Mass. — Talk about a million-dollar mistake! Massachusetts State Lottery officials confirmed to Boston 25 News that the winning $758.7 million Powerball ticket was sold in Chicopee, not Watertown as originally reported.
It was initially stated by lottery officials that Wednesday night’s winning Powerball ticket was sold at Handy Variety on Common Street in Watertown.
On Thursday morning Massachusetts State Lottery officials issued a major correction and said that, in fact, the winning ticket was sold at the Pride Station & Store on Montgomery Street in Chicopee.
Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney said the mistake was due to human error; someone verifying the information transposed two numbers, and then a second person meant to check the results didn't catch the mistake.
After noticing the discrepancy around 6 a.m., workers ran several system checks to make sure they had the correct information, before updating the public.
"I deeply apologize to the Watertown store," said Sweeny.
He also apologized to the media and the public.
The winner of the big jackpot will be announced at 1 p.m. Thursday. She's the winner of the largest jackpot won by a single ticket in North American history. Sweeney said she came into the Mass State Lottery headquarters Thursday morning and her ticker has been verified. He described as a typical Massachusetts resident.
The lucky numbers from Wednesday night’s drawing are 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and the Powerball number is 4.
This is the fourth time a Powerball jackpot winning ticket has been sold in the Bay State. The others were in 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to Massachusetts State Lottery officials.
The previous largest jackpot prize won in Massachusetts was $294 million Mega Millions jackpot won on July 2, 2004. That ticket was sold in Lowell.
If you’re the winner, there are some things you’ll need to do:
• Sign the ticket to establish ownership of the historic jackpot win
• Bring the ticket to the Massachusetts State Lottery office
• When you go, bring a signed photo I.D., like your driver's license
• Bring proof of your Social Security number
A $1 million winning ticket was sold by Handy Variety rather than the historic Jackpot. As it was initially stated, another $1 million winning ticket was sold at Sandy's Variety in Dorchester.
"We just produced three new millionaires in the Commonwealth," said Sweeney.
Powerball is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The $758.7 million jackpot is second only to a $1.6 billion prize shared by three people in January 2016.
The current jackpot refers to the annuity option, doled out in 30 payments over 29 years, increasing 5 percent annually. Nearly all winners favor the cash option, which would now be $480.5 million.
The advantage of taking cash is that people can invest the money with hopes of a greater return than the guaranteed payments they would receive through the annuity. The downside is they'll pay a little more in taxes and won't have the certainty of giant annual paychecks for decades.
Winners should expect to pay 40 percent or more in taxes.
Federal income taxes will take a 25 percent bite from winnings. State taxes vary, so the amount winners will pay in depend on where they play. Some of the nation's biggest states, including California and Texas, don't assess state taxes on lottery prizes, so winners in those spots would be just a bit richer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Cox Media Group