U.S. largest ever lottery prize hits $1.5 billion

Photo: abc7chicago.com

The Powerball Lottery jackpot hit $1.5 billion on Tuesday, making it the largest-ever U.S. lottery prize as well as the world’s biggest potential jackpot for a single winner, according to lottery officials.

The grand prize in Wednesday’s drawing is the world’s richest lottery jackpot that could go to a single ticketholder, and the amount is expected to rise further before then, according to lottery officials.

The jackpot is worth $930 million if a winner chooses an immediate cash payout instead of annual payments over 29 years, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

While the current $1.5 billion prize is by far the largest ever up for grabs in North America, Spain’s El Gordo lottery, or “the Fat One,” had a prize pool of $2.45 billion in Dec. 2015.

A year earlier, it totalled $2.7 billion.

But El Gordo payouts are awarded to thousands of ticketholders while Powerball’s riches could go to a single ticketholder.

The Powerball jackpot has been growing ever since the last winner was drawn in November.

The game is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories.

The payout has increased due to strong ticket sales since Monday, said Texas Lottery Commission spokeswoman Kelly Cripe.

(NAN)

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