Wednesday, November 30, 2022

California Lottery Ticket Holder Won the $2 Billion Jackpot, The Largest Lottery Payout in History

The $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot has been won, making it the largest lottery prize in Powerball history. The official website of the US lottery revealed on Tuesday that a ticket holder in California had matched the winning numbers hours after an early Tuesday drawing marred by delays.

The announcement ended a frenzy across the United States as people from states that do not participate in the Powerball lottery crossed into states that do to purchase tickets for the historic jackpot.

The newly minted billionaire prize winner, nearly $400 million more than the previous record jackpot, was not identified by officials. According to officials, the winning ticket sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, about five miles (8 kilometers) north of Pasadena.

Joe Chahayed, the business owner who sold the winning ticket, will receive a $1 million Powerball bonus prize. Only four previous Powerball jackpots surpassed $1 billion. None came close to Tuesday’s prize, which began at $20 million on August 6 and has now been reduced to $20 million for the next drawing on Wednesday.

The jackpot winner on Tuesday can receive the total prize as an annuity over 29 years or as a lump sum of cash paid immediately. Winners are more likely to take the lump sum, which for Tuesday’s jackpot was $997.6 million. All winnings will be subject to federal taxes, reducing the payout by more than one-third, and many states will also tax lottery winnings.

According to the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which administers the Powerball, there have been 40 drawings without a winner since the last Powerball prize on August 3, tying the record set in the previous year. Players must purchase a $2 ticket and match all five white balls and one red Powerball to win the grand prize. The odds of this happening are 1 in 292 million, which means that it’s not uncommon for no one to win the prize until a growing jackpot attracts an increasing number of players.

Millions of Americans purchased tickets as the jackpot grew over the last month’s draws. There were enough tickets sold for Saturday’s unclaimed prize of $1.6 billion to cover 62% of the 292.2 million possible number combinations.

The Powerball drawing on Tuesday was postponed from Monday due to technical difficulties with a participating lottery’s ticket processing system. Officials refused to reveal which lottery was involved, citing a policy prohibiting them from doing so. The winning numbers were 10-33-41-47-56, and 10 as the Powerball.

In addition to 45 states, Washington DC, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, Powerball is also played there. The California Lottery states that security requirements “must be met by all 48 [participating] lotteries before a drawing can occur. The delayed draw was conducted under the supervision of lottery security officials and independent auditors”.