Powerball jackpot grows to historic $1.5 billion in US

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New York, Jan 14 (IANS) If you have not heard about Powerball yet, this is the time to know about it. The world’s largest lottery jackpot grew to a historic figure of over $1.5 billion because of continuing strong Powerball ticket sales in the US and there may be more winners, media reported on Thursday.

According to The New York Times, the winners will divide a jackpot that, based on final ticket sales, is worth $1.568 billion, with a cash option of $983.5 million, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The winning numbers are 8, 27, 34, 4, 19 and the Powerball is 10. The odds of winning in Powerball are said to be one in 292.2 million, media reports said.

At least three winning tickets were sold in the record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot on Wednesday and results from the other states were still coming in.

According to the New York State lottery officials, the jackpot was not just the largest in Powerball history but also the largest of any lottery game in the US.

One winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California, Alex Traverso, a spokesman for that state’s lottery, was quoted as saying in media reports.

The person in Chino Hills had purchased a ticket with the winning combination drawn minutes earlier: 4-8-19-27-34 and the Powerball number 10.

The jackpot started at $40 million on November 7 and rolled over 19 times with no one matching all six numbers.

Tickets are for $2 but you can “upgrade” the ticket to something that increases the potential prize amounts.

It’s called a “Power Play” and it costs an additional $1 per ticket.

Without a winner, the jackpot would have increased to $2 billion, with a cash value of $1.24 billion, ahead of Saturday’s drawing, the Texas Lottery Commission posted on Twitter.

The $1.5 billion prize would be paid in annual payments over 29 years or the winner could opt for a lump-sum payment of $930 million.

Whoever wins will have to pay 39.6 percent of the prize in federal income taxes and any state taxes.

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