MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Boeing employee from Auburn announced as Powerball winner

Mar 3, 2023, 3:00 PM

Lottery...

Washington lottery officials hold up the check that the new Powerball winner will receive. (Washington's Lottery)

(Washington's Lottery)

Becky Bell, a Supply Chain Analyst for Boeing, was grocery shopping with her daughter at her local Fred Meyer on Sunday, Feb. 5.

She looked over at the Washington’s Lottery vending machine displaying that the Powerball jackpot was $747 million.

Bell worked at Boeing for 36 years – the same company that just six days earlier had delivered its last 747 jumbo jet .

“That’s when it hit me, had to buy one more ticket,” said Bell.

The winning numbers drawn were 5, 11, 22, 23, 69, and the Powerball 7. Bell instantly became wealthy.

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It’s the second time a Powerball jackpot ticket was sold in Washington state, and both tickets were purchased in Auburn. The first was a $90 million jackpot in 2014. The store will receive a $50,000 bonus.

Lottery officials said another $1 million prize from a ticket bought in Airway Heights, near Spokane, in November remains unclaimed. Lottery winners have 180 days to claim their prizes.

Ticket sales pushed the jackpot higher than an earlier $747 million estimate.

The full jackpot is for a winner opting for an annuity distributed in one immediate but partial payout followed by additional payments over 29 years that increase by 5% annually. The winner also can opt for a one-time cash payment of $407.2 million.

Both prizes available are the amounts before taxes, Powerball said.

The win was the first Powerball jackpot win since Nov. 19. That winless streak allowed the prize to grow larger and larger until it became the ninth-largest in U.S. history.

Higher interest rates have allowed annuity payments to increase compared with earlier jackpots, when rates were lower. Most winners prefer the immediate cash prize.

The game’s abysmal odds of 1 in 292.2 million are designed to build big prizes that draw more players. That strategy certainly has worked recently: Someone in Maine won a $1.35 billion Mega Millions prize in January and a California player hit a record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot last November. No one has claimed either of those prizes.

Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Associated Press contributed to this article.

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