January 22, 2021 11:32:04 am
A single ticket sold in the US state of Maryland won an estimated $731.1 million, the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot in history. Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot is still in play and has climbed to an estimated annuity value of $970 million, making it the country’s third-largest lottery jackpot ever, CNN reported.
On Thursday, the Maryland Lottery announced that someone had purchased the winning Powerball ticket at the Coney Market in Lonaconing, a small town of just over 1,000 people located in the western part of the state. The holder of the ticket has the option of taking the jackpot as a lump-sum payment, in which case it will be worth $546.8 million, or receive the full $731.1 million jackpot in instalments over the next 29 years.
The winning numbers were: 40, 53, 60, 68, 69, plus Powerball 22, and Power Play multiplier 3X. Thirteen other tickets also won at least $1 million after they matched the first five digits without hitting the Powerball, CNN reported. One of these winning tickets won $2 million as the holder purchased a “Power Play” option.
Following the Powerball win, the new jackpot has dropped to an estimated $20 million for the next drawing slated to take place on Saturday, AP reported. Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $970 million after a record number of months have passed without a winner. But the odds of winning the multi-million dollar prize is one in 302,575,350.
For both lotteries, winners can choose to take their prize either as a lump sum or an annuity paid over 30 years. The total jackpots could continue to increase depending on the number of tickets sold around the country before the next drawing.
In April last year, as coronavirus cases first began to soar in the United States and lockdowns were imposed across the country, both Mega Millions and Powerball had to change their starting jackpot amounts and minimum jackpot roll increases as ticket sales began to drop dramatically, AP reported.
Officials for both lotteries had announced that the starting jackpots would no longer be $40 million and the minimum increase between drawings was also scrapped if there was no top winner. But ticket sales started to rebound towards the end of the year, and has risen to the highest combined total for the two jackpots since October 2018, when the Mega Millions prize hit $1.537 billion and the Powerball hit $687.8 million.
The Powerball game is played in 45 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Mega Million tickets are sold in 44 states, as well as the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands.
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