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Lotto fever: Combined Powerball, Mega Millions prizes surpass $1 billion

Lotto fever: Combined Powerball, Mega Millions prizes surpass $1 billion

The jackpot in the US Powerball draw has jumped to an estimated US$550 million (NZ$773 million) after no winning tickets were selected on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time).

The jackpot has a cash value of more than $347 million, the estimated total if a victor selects one lump-sum payment rather than the other option of taking annual payments. Anyone who is lucky enough to win the big prize will have the option for a cash payout of $291 million.

This is the first time USA lottery players have had two opportunities to try for prizes exceeding $400 million, and the second time both have simultaneously topped $300 million.

Mega Millions lottery
G-Jun Yam AP

The next Powerball drawing, set for Saturday night, January 6, will be worth more than half a billion dollars - $550 million to be exact.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since October 13 when $42 million was shared by winners in MI and Rhode Island, the game said on its website. The cash prize would be almost $348 million before taxes.

Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets, Jan 3, 2018 in San Anselmo, Calif. That's when a family in Louisiana won $191.1 million.





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