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A world record Powerball jackpot soars even higher


Tallahassee's Laura Johnson is one of the hosts for the national Powerball drawing TV and online broadcast. On Saturday night, she was waiting for the moment she'd announce the winning numbers for a world-record $1.65 BILLION dollar jackpot. Although she said the atmosphere wasn't much different than usual.

"All of the procedures that are done here at the Lottery to ensure the integrity of the games is all continuing and in process just the way it's always done. So everything seems very much normal here. BUT, everything is abuzz outside. You can't ignore the media, obviously and the television and all the things that you're seeing."

Even so, Johnson was happy to be connected with a situation that had such transformative potential.

"I have to say the part that I love is the idea that, while nothing really changes for me and how we do things here, tomorrow morning - maybe - someone will be waking up with their whole world different than it's ever been. Or 'persons' waking up to a whole new world tomorrow learning that they've won this record-breaking jackpot."

And now that excitement has ramped up even higher. There were no big winners in Saturday night's Powerball drawing, although lesser amounts went to those who picked fewer than six of the winning numbers. That included an unnamed Tallahasseean who won $50,000. The Powerball jackpot for the next drawing the evening of Monday, Nov. 7 is estimated at just under $2 billion.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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