US$1.5b lottery: And the winning numbers are...

The odds to win were 1 in 292.2 million. Photo / AP
The odds to win were 1 in 292.2 million. Photo / AP

A spokesman for the California lottery says a winning Powerball ticket was sold at a store in suburban Los Angeles.

Spokesman Alex Travesta tells The Associated Press the jackpot-winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) northeast of Anaheim.

The identity of the winner is not yet known. It could take several hours before officials know whether any other winning tickets were sold elsewhere.

The odds to win were 1 in 292.2 million.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, had said they expected more than 85 percent of all the possible number combinations would have been bought for the drawing.

Had no one matched all of the numbers drawn - 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10 - lottery officials said the next jackpot would have reached US$2 billion.

California Lottery has tweeted tickets that matched five of the six numbers were sold in Nipton, Chula Vista, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Tustin, Pacoima, Vacaville, Cloverdale, Redlands, Gardena, Irwindale.



READ MORE: Auckland man buys 10 tickets for US mega-draw

How does Powerball work?

According to the Telegraph participants had until 10pm this Wednesday Eastern Time (4pm Thursday NZ time) to purchase their $2 tickets.

On it are five numbers, plus a bonus number.

Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10.59pm Eastern Time (Thursday and Saturday 4.59pm NZ time), five white balls are drawn from a drum of 69 balls and one white ball from a drum of 26.

The chance of winning the grand prize is one in 292.2 million.

The winner can choose to take all the money at once, or in annual instalments over 29 years.





What $2.3 billion could do for you

The United States' Powerball draw is the largest the world has ever seen.

While America goes lotto-crazy, let's take a look at where and what more than two billion big ones could get you.

•Bill Gates would still be nearly 53 (52.8) times richer than you with a net worth of US$79.2 billion.

•You wouldn't even make it onto Forbe's 2015 list of the 500 richest people in the world.

•In New Zealand the richest Kiwi, Graeme Hart, would still be nearly 4 (3.9) times richer than you with his estimated fortune of NZ$9 billion.

•But, you could buy your own private island: East Sister Rock near Miami, currently selling for a comparatively tiny US$12.2 million.

•To get to your island all the way from the southern hemisphere, you could take your private jet, bought for just US$3 million.

•If the win was spread evenly in America, every one of the 318.9 million people in the country would receive US$4.70, enough to buy a Big Mac and a small fries.

•If it was spread in New Zealand, everyone would get NZ$514, enough to buy return flights for an Australian holiday.

•You could buy 209090909 Big Mac combos (at NZ$11 each) if you won the whole thing for yourself.

Can you buy tickets outside of the US?

Sort of.

Australian punters had a chance to enter the Powerball jackpot via Northern Territory gambling website Lottoland. The site opened for business less than a month ago, allowing Australian residents, for the first time, to enter international lottery draws.

Lottoland has experienced huge demand today, crashing their website this morning as Australian buyers flocked to buy tickets.

According to the Telegraph foreigners can buy tickets, but it is recommended they do so while in the US.

Powerball's website said that if you are not buying from a licensed retailer in the state, or from the official state lottery site open only to people in the US, "then you should not expect to be able to collect your prize".

Other foreign websites have emerged claiming to allow foreigners to purchase tickets but the legitimacy of these is questionable.


-nzherald.co.nz

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