CLEVELAND (AP) - Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday -- but thousands of Ohio lottery players were celebrating Monday anyway.
The winning numbers drawn during the Ohio Lottery's Pick 3 Numbers day game were 5-5-5.
The lottery's sales for that drawing amounted to $519,955.50 and winners will split $2,947,875. In the game, a $1 wager can return as much as $500.
Cinco de Mayo, or The Fifth Of May, is a regional celebration in Mexico that commemorates a military victory of the Mexicans over the French at the battle of Puebla in 1862.
"Cinco de Mayo certainly could have been a factor in some of the wagering, which was more than usual for the day drawing," said Ohio Lottery spokesman Dan Price. "It could also be just the date, being the fifth day of the fifth month. It already had two fives, so people might have decided to throw in the third five. Those kind of numbers (three of the same digit) are always popular."
The Ohio Lottery can shut down wagering on any particular three-digit number if wagering on it exceeds a certain limit. The last time a number was shut down was last month, when wagering on 317 was heavy on St. Patrick's Day.
Price said 555 remained open up to the drawing Monday. He did not know how many winning tickets were sold, but he said that at a payout of over $2.9 million the total "would easily be in the thousands."
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