The latest Powerball jackpot made a little history, and nearly made a little more, when the Newsstand at the Gallery sold the ticket that won Wednesday's drawing.
It was, indeed, the biggest jackpot ever hit in Philadelphia: $172.7 million in 30 annual payments, or $107.5 million cash. The old record: $52 million for the annuity, $26.9 million for cash, hit by a ticket sold by University Deli in West Philadelphia in May 2004. It was claimed by brothers Jim Hare of Philadelphia and Tom Hare of Drexel Hill.
If reports prove true that four dozen SEPTA workers will share the loot, that's a state record for Powerball: Most people sharing a jackpot-winning ticket. The old record: 22 Philadelphia postal workers, who split $10.3 million cash in October 2008, when the annuity was worth $20 million.
(Note to superstitious fans: The Phillies won the World Series that month, breaking a long sports jinx. Could another luck lottery group be a propitious omen for the Flyers?)
Philadelphia's only other Powerball jackpot winner was sold in December 2004 at Beer Express, in Somerton section of the Northeast. Joseph Petto and his wife, Mercedes, claimed the $5.6 million cash with two other family members.
So all four of Philadelphia's jackpots wound up being split.
The new jackpot fell just short of the state record for a cash jackpot hit by a single ticket: $110.2 million, won in May 2004 by a ticket purchased in Washington Crossing, Bucks County, and claimed by Steve and Kristine White of Skillman, Somerset County, N.J.
They also set the Pennsylvania record for biggest single-ticket annuity win: $213 million.
As far as total dollars paid for any drawing, the 1989 Super 7 jackpot of $115 million takes the cake. It was an annuity, not cash, split by 14 tickets.
Runner-up for biggest winner from one of the city's suburban counties was language teacher Palmira Nicolo, of Wyndmoor, Montgomery County, who collected $46.6 million cash for having one of two winning Powerball tickets in February 2009. An anonymous Delaware player got half of a jackpot with an annuity value of $174.4 million.
The Whites weren't New Jersey's biggest lottery winners ever, by the way. A $258 million Mega Millions jackpot, won in September 2005, paid $156.1 million in cash to Harold and Helen Lerner of Rutherford, Bergen County.
Thirty-three coworkers from Seaford, Del., shared that state's biggest win: An October 2004 Powerball jackpot worth $116.9 million cash, $214.7 million for the annuity.
The biggest jackpot of which Pennsylvania claimed a piece was a July 2003 Powerball jackpot worth $261 million as an annuity, $147.3 million cash. But Scott and Marian Calligan of Cranberry, Butler County, could claim only half, because a Missouri couple also matched the winning numbers.
Pennsylvania has yet to win a Mega Millions jackpot. The state began selling that game's tickets in January 2010.
The most cash ever won by a single player in any U.S. lottery was $210 million, won in a February Powerball drawing this year by Luisa White of Providence, R.I.
The biggest U.S. annuity won by a single ticket was $365 million, won in February 2006 and split by eight Nebraska food-plant workers.
All records for jackpots were smashed by the March 29 Mega Millions drawing, which reached payouts of $640 million for the annuity, and $462 million for the cash. Maryland, Illinois and Kansas each sold a winning ticket.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or email@example.com.