The US multi-state Powerball lottery today soared past the USD 1 billion figure in a new world record, tickling Americans’ dreams further of overnight riches after there were no winners for a record USD 900 million jackpot.
No ticket holder had the magic combination of 32-16-19-57-34 and the Powerball number 13.
The next drawing for the Powerball lottery, which takes place every Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 pm (0929 IST) has shot to a whopping USD 1.3 billion.
The grand prize for the lottery, which is played in 44 states, Washington, and two US territories, has been climbing for weeks after repeated drawings produced no big winners.
The jackpot began on November 4 at USD 40 million but rolled over 19 times before yesterday.
Millions of Americans with dreams of an overnight fortune had flocked to buy tickets as the size of the pot surged. But, the Saturday night drawing for a record USD 900 million jackpot - the largest in US history - produced no winners, fuelling excitement of being a potential winner even more.
“No #Powerball jackpot winners in any state tonight. Wednesday’s jackpot is a new WORLD RECORD! Can you believe it?” Texas Lottery tweeted.
In the Powerball lottery, five white balls are drawn from a drum containing 69 balls while a sixth red one is pulled from a drum with 26. A ticket holder has to match all the numbers on the selected balls to win the jackpot.
The first five can be in any order, but the sixth must be the Powerball number.
The winner can either opt to receive the full jackpot in annual installments over 29 years or take a lower one-off payment in cash.
Gary Grief, the executive director of the Texas Lottery was quoted as saying by the Chicago Tribune that the chance of no one hitting all five initial numbers and the Powerball number was growing slimmer, anticipating that about 75 per cent of all combinations will have been bought.
The US saw sales of USD 277 million on Friday alone and more than USD 400 million expected yesterday, Grief said.