FOUNTAIN HILLS — Sometimes it's better to dream, particularly when reality means you're not an instant multimillionaire.
Bob Kangas realized Wednesday night that one of two winning Powerball jackpot tickets had been bought in Arizona, but he didn't check his numbers.
"I didn't want to look because I just wanted to dream about being rich," Kangas said Thursday while checking his tickets at a 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, the suburban Phoenix store where he bought his tickets — and where the winning ticket was sold.
"I just wanted to dream all night," he said, breathing a heavy sigh as he realized his tickets were not winners for the record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot that will be split with another winning ticket in Missouri.
Lottery officials in both states said Thursday no one had yet claimed the prizes, and it wasn't clear whether the winning tickets were purchased by individuals or groups.
The jackpot is the largest in Powerball history.
The winners could split a cash payout of $384.7 million before taxes, or about $192 million per ticket. They have six months to claim their prize money.
At the Fountain Hills convenience store, customers began coming in and calling as soon as the Arizona Lottery announced that's where the winning ticket was sold. Some were checking their numbers, but most just wanted to share in the big moment.
"I think it's crazy, and I also think it's great," said store manager Bob Chebat. "I'm glad that all that work yesterday wasn't for nothing."
The store was swept up in a nationwide ticket-buying spree preceding Wednesday's drawing, with the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery.
"There was a lot of traffic. We did a little over $8,000 worth of Powerball tickets just yesterday alone," said 4 Sons District Manager Harvey Frausto.
Across the nation on Wednesday, tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute — about six times the volume from a week ago.
The Missouri ticket was sold at a Trex Mart convenience store in Dearborn about 35 miles north of Kansas City, according to the state lottery commission.
The Missouri store will be awarded $50,000 for selling the winning ticket, while the Arizona store is due a $25,000 bonus.
Powerball officials said two tickets matched all six numbers to win the jackpot. The numbers drawn were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball is 6.