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Weekend lotto draws soar to $2.5 billion

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Aussies can enter the draw to win more than $1bn in lotto draws this weekend. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicki Connolly

Aussies will have a second chance to win a more than $1bn lottery jackpot this weekend, after no one took home the cash from a $1.4bn draw on Saturday.

On Saturday afternoon, the USA Mega Millions draw did not produce a winner for the huge sum, although five lucky punters took home at least $1m USD each.

But for those who missed out on the lotto, a separate jackpot worth AUD $1.1bn will be drawn on Sunday.

LOTTO
Unlike Australian lotteries, all winnings from US lotteries are taxable. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

The winning numbers were: 3, 8, 31, 35, 44 and Mega Ball 16.

The biggest weekend of the year so far for mega draws, the USA Mega Lotto’s $1.4bn jackpot has not been won since December 9 while the latter jackpot has not been won since January.

Lottery Office chief executive officer Jaclyn Wood said this was only the second time since it began operating in 2018 that two jackpots had reached more than $1 billion at the same time.

“The last time the USA Mega Lotto and the USA Power Lotto jackpots were both over AUD$1 billion was on July 19 last year and it was for only one day before USA Power Lotto was won,’’ Ms Wood said.

The Mega Millions draw will reportedly exceed $1bn USD when it returns on Tuesday, the sixth time it has passed that threshold in the past six years.

POWERBALL
Australia recently had a $200mn jackpot prize. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Valeriu Campan

“It’s so exciting for our players,” Ms Wood said.

“At this size, it’s likely these jackpots will be won any day now and the icing on the cake would be for one of our Aussie customers to take home the jackpot.’’

Tickets for the $1.4bn draw can be bought online until 11am on Saturday morning.

“Winning a jackpot of this size would be truly a life-changing event and with both jackpots in billion-dollar territory our players have two chances for a massive win,” Ms Wood said.

Through The Lottery Office – which is wholly Australian-owned – Ms Wood said Aussies had the chance to win lottery jackpots that dwarfed those traditionally seen in Australia.

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The biggest payout in US Mega Millions history was AUD$2.4 billion on August 8, 2023. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicki Connolly

However a key difference between the US lottery and the Australian lottery is that prize money from America is taxable, while winnings from Australia are tax-free.

The biggest payout in US Mega Millions history was AUD$2.4 billion on August 8, 2023.

The largest US Powerball payout was AUD$3.1 billion on November 7, 2022.

The winning numbers will be drawn on Sunday at 3pm AEDT.