Baton Rouge Resident Claims Surprize Prize
Baton Rouge resident Janell Smith was so excited she passed the exit to go home when she discovered her Powerball ticket from the record-setting Feb. 18 drawing matched all five of the white ball numbers. Pleased that she had won the match-5 prize of $200,000, Smith was even more surprised to learn that she had actually won more than three times that or $667,142 when she came to claim her prize at Lottery headquarters. Smith won $200,000 for matching the five numbers, plus an additional $467,142 Match 5 Bonus prize. Added to Powerball in 2002, the Match 5 Bonus feature pays a bonus to players who match the five white ball numbers, but do not correctly match the red Powerball number, when a new record Powerball jackpot is won.
The Match-5 Bonus Prize pool for the Feb. 18 drawing was $19.6 million and was divided equally between 42 match-5 winning tickets nationwide, two of which were sold in Louisiana. The second ticket, purchased in Lake Charles remains unclaimed. When Smith came to claim her prize, she was overwhelmed with tears. She said she plans to tithe to her church and take care of her family with her winnings. After state and federal taxes were withheld, Smith received $466,999.40. She purchased her winning ticket at Exxon #53400 on Plank Road in Baton Rouge. The retailer will receive $6,671.42 or one percent of the total Match 5 prize, as a bonus incentive for selling the winning ticket. Since the $365 million jackpot surpassed the previous jackpot record of $340 million, Powerball's unique Match 5 Bonus feature kicked in for Saturday's draw. The Match 5 Bonus feature caps jackpot growth to $25 million. At that time all additional funds from sales that would have gone into the Powerball jackpot prize go to the Match 5 Bonus prize pool, which is divided equally among Match 5 Bonus winners when the jackpot is won.
The winning numbers from the Feb. 18 Powerball drawing were 15-17-43-44-48 and the Powerball number was 29. A single ticket sold in Nebraska matched all the numbers and won the $365 million Powerball jackpot. Lottery President Randy Davis noted that persons must be at least 21 years old to purchase a Lottery ticket. He also reminded players that anyone who has a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem are encouraged to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help.