Powerball prize invites myths, misconceptions about lottery

With up to $1.4 billion at stake in Wednesday's Powerball, questions about the drawing seem to be as abundant as the convenience-store kiosks offering tickets for the record-breaking jackpot.

The inquiries include many myths and misconceptions about the winners, the prize money and the system that decides them.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association say one of the most frequent complaints is that all the winners seem to be from certain states. For example, in the past two years, Missouri and Tennessee have each been home to three Powerball jackpot winners.

But lottery officials, backed by mathematicians, say probabilities equal out over time. In shorter periods, oddities can occur, in the same way someone could flip a coin and get heads five times in a row.