The odds of winning at least $1 million by matching the first five numbers in a Powerball drawing are 1 in 5.15 million. Four people beat those odds in Florida this week.
In the same county. Buying from the same grocery chain.
Four tickets bought from a Publix store in separate cities in South Florida's Broward County matched the first five numbers drawn on Wednesday night, said David Bishop, Florida Lottery deputy secretary.
Each missed the Powerball digit, but still won a prize of at least $1 million. One was an upgraded Power Play ticket, bringing that buyer's prize to $2 million.
"Four winners in the same county, all bought at one retail chain. It's really remarkable," Bishop said Friday.
Each of the tickets was a "quick pick," meaning the numbers were automatically selected at the time of purchase and none of the winners chose the numbers themselves, Bishop said.
Asked if the machines would be checked for any irregularities, Bishop said that "from an integrity standpoint, we always check that information." But the lottery doesn't suspect anything out of the ordinary beyond a statistical fluke.
"It's statistically improbable, but not statistically impossible," Bishop said. "We do our due diligence, but we see nothing other than an improbability that came true."
One winner had come forward as of late Friday afternoon, Bishop said.
Wednesday's drawing – 7-10-14-33-57, with a Powerball of 18 – produced one $241 million jackpot winner, in Iowa.
The four $1 million tickets in Broward County – sold at Publix stores in Coral Springs, Plantation, Weston and Pembroke Pines – were among seven that won nationwide Wednesday, according to Powerball officials.
Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, is Florida's second most populous county, with more than 1.7 million people in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Publix is the Florida Lottery's largest retailer, according to Bishop.