U.S. Powerball jackpot rises to whopping $1.9 billion

Powerball jackpot tickets

On Tuesday, Americans were waiting in line once more to purchase Powerball jackpot tickets in hopes of winning a $1.9 billion lottery prize that had risen to a record high after several drawings had gone unclaimed.

In Saturday’s drawing, the top reward went unclaimed for the 40th time in a row, increasing in value each time. A ticket holder needs to match all six numbers drawn in order to win.

If a ticket matches all the numbers drawn on Monday, the winner may choose between a $929.1 million cash payoff as a single lump sum and 29 years of multimillion-dollar annuity payments. There is a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning the prize.

Numerous media outlets said after Saturday’s drawing, there were so many individuals attempting to verify their numbers online that the Powerball.com website crashed. Apart from a home page displaying the latest prize estimate and the winning numbers from Saturday, it was still unavailable on Monday afternoon.

When the website would return to normal was not known. On Monday, attempts to contact Powerball officials for comment were futile.

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Greg Spencer, 67, a retired truck driver from the suburbs of Atlanta, expects to end the streak of no winners on Monday along with tens of thousands of other ticket holders.

“Someone has to win,” Spencer said after he shelled out cash for two $2 tickets at a Chevron station in east Atlanta.

“I usually buy just one. I’m doubling my odds,” he said. “I plan to win.”

When asked about his plans for the money if he wins, Spencer said he hasn’t made up his mind, but he wants to explore the world.

“Other than that, I could buy whatever I want,” he said. “Anything I want for the rest of my life.”

Just before 11 p.m. ET, the drawings are televised on several news stations and streamed live on Powerball.com (0400 GMT).

In 2016, three winners from California, Florida, and Tennessee split a $1.586 billion jackpot, topping the previous record for a Powerball jackpot.