The US Powerball jackpot has swelled to US$1.3 billion, making it the world’s biggest lottery grand prize ever and stoking the fantasies of millions of Americans.
The pot pushed higher when no ticket holder had the winning combination of six numbers selected during Saturday’s drawing, when the grand prize reached nearly US$950 million, Reuters reported.
The jackpot has grown to US$1.3 billion and is certain to rise further before the next drawing on Wednesday.
“It’s crazy how big this jackpot is,” Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California Lottery, was quoted as saying. “Buckle up: It’s going to be a crazy ride between now and Wednesday night.”
California is one of 44 states, plus Washington D.C. and two US territories, that participate in Powerball.
Powerball’s grand prize has increased steadily for weeks after repeated drawings produced no big winners. But last week ticket purchases surged, driving up the size of the pot.
That in turn has persuaded some Americans who normally shun lotteries to join the long lines of people buying tickets at retail stores across the country.
The excitement is only expected to grow ahead of the next drawing.
The grand prize in Wednesday’s drawing is worth US$806 million if a winner chooses an immediate cash payout instead of annual payments over 29 years.
Before the current Powerball jackpot started to bound higher, the previous world record for a lottery prize that a single ticket-holder was eligible to win was US$656 million in a 2012 US Mega Millions drawing.
But that jackpot eventually went to three different ticket-holders, the report noted.
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