Someone is a multi-millionaire after Houston store sells winning lotto ticket

The winning numbers from Saturday night were 1, 9, 14, 23, 29 and 41

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Monday, October 4, 2021
Winning $20 million lotto ticket sold at Houston store
This is one lucky place! This store sold a $20 million lotto ticket. But what do you do with all that cash?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ahead of Monday night's Powerball drawing, someone in the Houston area might be waking up a new multi-millionaire.

The BFM Food Mart on Bellaire and Renwick in southwest Houston sold a winning $20 million lotto ticket on Saturday night.

The winning numbers were 1, 9, 14, 23, 29 and 41. If they haven't already, the person who won has up to 180 days to claim their prize money.

SEE ALSO: Luckiest places around Houston to buy lotto tickets

But if you weren't so lucky, you still have a chance to play Powerball.

Though, we'll be honest, the odds aren't really in your favor or ours.

That's because the odds of winning the now-$685 million jackpot are one in 292.2 million. The estimated jackpot amount refers to winners who opt to be paid through an annuity over 29 years. Most winners prefer the cash option, which for Monday's drawing would be an estimated $485.5 million before taxes.

According to Jeffrey Miecznikowski, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University at Buffalo who spoke about a similar jackpot in 2016, there's not much you can do to improve your chances of winning.

You have about the same odds of hitting the jackpot as flipping a quarter and getting heads 28 times in a row.

"It's like trying to count electrons or drops of water in the ocean or grains of sand in the world. We just can't imagine these types of things," Miecznikowski said.

Thanks for giving it to us straight, professor!

Your odds of winning get a bit better, and we do mean a bit, if you let the computer pick the numbers for you rather than choosing yourself.

Scott A. Norris, an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University, said that's because when people use birthdates or other favorite figures, they generally choose numbers 31 or below. That ignores the fact that there are 69 numbered balls.

Your odds might go up if you buy multiple tickets, but remember the odds of winning that you're working with are small.

So even if you buy 100, 1,000 or even 1,000,000 tickets, winning still likely won't happen.

In fact, at some point, you might start to lose money.

If you have extra cash and are thinking of buying all possible number combinations, that is allowed, but it wouldn't be very smart. At $2 a ticket, the strategy would cost about $584 million, and when taxes are subtracted, that's when you'd lose out.

But we're not about negativity here, and it's free to dream, so what are some of the most Houston things you could do if you won?

  • According to numbers crunched from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in 2016, you could dig up a pothole, refill it and top it with hot asphalt at an average cost of $7,000 per patch
  • Want to resurface a portion of the street? Depending on how much of a street, like West Alabama, that would cost approximately $85,000 per lane mile
  • You could try to bring back AstroWorld. The Six Flags lot was sold for $77 million
  • You could try to do something with the Astrodome. Remember there was that $105 million plan to make the dome a parking garage and events space. Of course, the plan has stalled, and keep in mind, you can't just demolish the dome. While that would cost about $30 million, the Astrodome was designated a state antiquity landmark, effectively preventing it from being demolished

Meanwhile, you can't buy the Astros, Texans or Rockets. They are all valued in the billions.

But an NHL team, depending on who you're after, is doable. You could even try to get J.J. Watt to go in on the deal.

Want to get away from Houston? How about a private island?

Whiskey Island near New York is up for grabs at nearly $3 million. But if the money is really burning a hole in your pocket, you can go up in price and snag Pumpkin Key in Florida for $95 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.