US Powerball jackpot crosses $1 billion ahead of Halloween night draw US News

The jackpot in one of America’s major lotteries has surpassed $1 billion and could be won in tonight’s Halloween draw.

The Powerball jackpot is the fifth largest jackpot in U.S. history.

By 11 p.m. ET, Americans were already rushing to stores, supermarkets and gas stations to buy $2 tickets.

No one has matched all six numbers since August 3, when a ticket-holder from Pennsylvania took home $206 million (£179.5 million).

The biggest prize the US has ever won was the $1.586bn (£1.383bn) Powerball jackpot in 2016, which was won by three ticket holders.

“The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292.2 million,” lottery officials said.

Last year, another lottery jackpot crossed the $1 billion mark.

On January 22, a ticket that matched all six numbers in the Mega Millions lottery won the $1.05 billion jackpot.

Big lottery jackpots have become more frequent in recent years as lottery officials tweak game rules and ticket prices to raise top prizes.

Powerball officials made their most recent adjustments in August, adding an extra draw day — from two to three a week — in an effort to build bigger prizes and boost sales.

While the odds of winning the jackpot are slim, the odds of someone — even multiple players — drawing the winning number are on the rise as more and more people play as the jackpot increases.

The $1 billion jackpot prize is for those winners who choose to receive the full amount in 29 annual payouts.

Almost all jackpot winners have decided to opt for a lower one-off payment, with tonight’s draw estimated at $497.3 million (£433.6 million).

Once the winning ticket is matched with the draw, the Powerball jackpot will start over at $20 million (£17.4 million) and continue to increase with each draw until the jackpot is won.

Powerball is played in 45 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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