The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

Lottery fever grips US ahead of Powerball draw


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Lottery fever gripped the United States (US) on Wednesday ahead of a Powerball drawing with an estimated jackpot of US$550 million (S$672 million), the second highest in the nation's history.

Nobody has won the semi-weekly grand prize for Powerball - available in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands - since Oct 6, swelling the kitty for whoever holds the winning six-number combination.

With Wednesday's drawing set for 10.59pm eastern time (11.59am Singapore time), the odds of winning stood at one in 175.2 million - compared to the one in a million chance of being struck by lightning in a given year.

"I'm buying this lottery ticket so I can put my pencil down and walk out of my office and live my dreams," quipped a 40-something woman named Szami as she bought a batch of tickets for herself and friends at a Washington corner store, declining to give her family name.