Buzz over largest jackpot in US history

A total of US$675 million is up for grabs in the United States today. The Powerball prize grew after no winner claimed Wednesday's jackpot draw, which was worth half a billion dollars.
A total of US$675 million is up for grabs in the United States today. The Powerball prize grew after no winner claimed Wednesday's jackpot draw, which was worth half a billion dollars.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NEW YORK • The largest jackpot in lottery history, a whopping US$675 million (S$968 million), is up for grabs in the United States today, driving feverish excitement among lotto players dreaming of becoming millionaires.

The Powerball prize grew after no winner claimed Wednesday's jackpot draw, which was worth half a billion dollars.

Each Wednesday and Saturday at 10.59pm, the lottery firm draws five white balls out of a drum containing 69 balls, and a red one out of a drum with 26. To win the jackpot, a ticket holder has to match all the numbers on the selected white and red balls.

The winner can claim the prize in annual instalments for 29 years or take a lump sum in cash.

Before federal taxes, the cash value of today's prize would be US$431.1 million, the lottery company said.

HIGH HOPES

Here's to hoping that our office lottery pools win the Powerball Jackpot US$675 million so we can all quit together.

MS INGA KLINTS, from Chicago.

As Americans woke up to news that there had been no winner on Wednesday, US$675 million began trending on Twitter.

"I'm buying a lotto ticket for sure now, I need to win that money! US$675 million for me, I can see it now!" wrote third-year football cornerback Quandre Diggs, from Angleton, Texas.

"Here's to hoping that our office lottery pools win the Powerball Jackpot US$675 million so we can all quit together," wrote Ms Inga Klints from Chicago.

The previous jackpot record was US$656 million in March 30, 2012, when three ticket holders from as many US states shared the winnings.

Ms Gloria Mackenzie, 84, from Florida, holds the record for winning the largest single Powerball jackpot, US$590.5 million, on May 18, 2013. Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The world's richest lottery is Spain's annual Christmas El Gordo, which last year handed out €2.2 billion (S$3.4 billion) but which capped individual wins at €400,000 and handed out thousands of smaller prizes.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'Buzz over largest jackpot in US history'. Print Edition | Subscribe