US Powerball: Lottery jackpot passes $1 billion

The US Powerball jackpot has climbed well past $1 billion after 30 consecutive drawings without a winner.

The estimated jackpot for the lottery is now $1.46 billion (US$925 million), after no players won big on Wednesday night.

It makes the prize the ninth-largest in world lottery history, behind a handful of earlier wins in the Powerball and Mega Millions games that also topped $1 billion.

Powerball has extremely unlikely odds of about one in 292.2 million — to put that into context, you’re more likely to be hit by a meteor — and is designed to generate huge jackpots.

The prizes become larger with every drawing without a winner.

The jackpot hasn’t been won since July 19.

The next drawing will be on Saturday, September 30.

The largest jackpot in lottery history was a $3 billion (US$2.04 billion) Powerball prize that was won in California in late 2022.

Edwin Castro won the huge prize and has since splurged on a series of lavish and controversial purchases, including a mansion complete with its own champagne tasting room.

The most successful lottery winner of all time, though, is an Australian. Aussie mathematician Stefan Mandel won the lottery 14 times across at least three countries, bagging millions before he retired on a tropical island.

In most US states, a Powerball ticket costs about $3 (US$2) and players can select their own numbers or leave it up to a computer. Australian residents can play via regulated, secure websites that purchase a ticket on your behalf, such as The Lottery Office.

The winner of the jackpot can opt to be paid in annual instalments over 30 years or in a smaller lump sum.

Winners usually take the lump sum option, which for Saturday’s drawing is an estimated $674.5 million (US $432.4 million).

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