Lotto fever grips US for $1.6bn world record prize

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After more than three months without a winner in the premier lottery game in the US, this weekend’s draw has grown to the biggest the world has ever seen.

The Powerball jackpot advertised for Saturday now stands at an estimated pre-tax prize of $1.6bn (£1.4bn).

That tops the previous record of $1.59bn, split between three Powerball players in 2016.

The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292 million, according to Powerball.

The game, which began in 1992, is played in 45 of the 50 US states, the capital city of Washington, and in the US territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

A ticket must match all six numbers drawn to score the jackpot – and there has been no winner in 39 consecutive drawings.

Whoever holds the golden ticket has the option of receiving the full amount in an annuity paid over three decades.

But almost all winners instead opt for the upfront cash option, where they can receive a smaller amount as a lump sum.

The cash prize for Saturday night’s draw is currently estimated at $782.4m (£688m).

A customer holds Powerball lottery tickets at a convenience store in Hyattsville, Maryland, USA. The Powerball jackpot reached 1.6 billion dollars, the largest jackpot of a national lottery in history, with the next drawing set for 05 November. A potential winner has a lump-sum option of an estimated 782.4 million US dollars. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Read more via BBC/ CBS News

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