Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in California has won a record $3.14 billion (US$2.04 billion) Powerball jackpot after more than three months without anyone hitting the top prize in the US lottery. The world record lottery prize drew immense interest, including from Australians who were able to buy tickets in the overseas draw.
But in the end, one lucky punter has claimed the whole lot.
The Lottery Office, licensed by the Government of the Northern Territory, allowed Australians to buy tickets in the record-setting overseas Powerball draw, with CEO Jaclyn Wood saying hundreds of thousands of Aussies had thrown their hat in the ring.
The winning numbers were selected Tuesday morning in the US, nearly 10 hours after the scheduled Monday night drawing because of problems processing sales data at one of the game’s member lotteries. Lottery officials acknowledged the unprecedented delay for such a high-profile drawing but said the game’s security process took precedence.
"Protecting the integrity of the draw is of upmost importance, and we were able to do that during this historic drawing with the cooperation of all participating lotteries," said Drew Svitko, the chairman of the Powerball Product Group.
The winning numbers were 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the Powerball was 10.
The jackpot ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Centre in Altadena, a convenience store in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles.
The $3.14 billion jackpot was by far the largest lottery prize ever won, topping the previous record $2.4 billion prize won by three Powerball ticketholders in the US in 2016. Only four previous jackpots have topped the US$1 billion mark, but none of those are close to the current prize, which started at $20 million back on August 6 and has grown over three winless months.
The jackpot was initially reported as an estimated $2.9 billion (US$1.9 billion) on Monday, but the prize was increased to $3.14 billion (US$2.04 billion) Tuesday morning after updated calculations.
The winning numbers and recorded video of the drawing were posted to the Powerball’s YouTube channel.
The lucky winner who bagged the massive prize can now choose an annuity, paid annually over 29 years. Nearly all winners instead opt for cash, in which case the Californian winner would see their bank account grow by just shy of a billion dollars after tax.
The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 292.2 million.
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