Lottery players across US checking if they hold £654m winning ticket

Published: Sunday 10th January 2016 by The News Editor

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The winning numbers for a record US Powerball jackpot of nearly 950 million dollars (£654 million) were announced, setting off a scramble among hopeful lottery players to check if they held a lucky ticket.

The winning numbers were 32-16-19-57-34 and the Powerball number 13. All six numbers must be correct to win, although the first five can be in any order.

Texas state lottery spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said it was too early to know if any winning tickets were sold.

The final size of the jackpot was 949.8 million dollars, the largest lottery prize in history. Earlier in the day, the Multi-State Lottery Association had said the jackpot would be 900 million dollars (£619 million).

If no-one matches all the numbers, the next drawing is expected to soar to 1.3 billion dollars (£895 million).

Since November 4, the Powerball jackpot has grown from its 40 million dollar (£27.5 million) starting point as nobody has won the jackpot.

Such a huge jackpot was just what officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, hoped for last autumn when they changed the odds of matching all the numbers, from about one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million.

The tougher odds made the ever-larger prizes inevitable.

The US saw sales of 277 million dollars (£190 million) on Friday alone and more than 400 million dollars £275 million) were expected on Saturday, according to Gary Grief, the executive director of the Texas Lottery.

The chance of no one hitting all five initial numbers and the Powerball number was growing slimmer, Mr Grief said, anticipating that about 75% of all combinations will have been bought.

Published: Sunday 10th January 2016 by The News Editor

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