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California player wins $1.77 billion Powerball jackpot, second largest in history


FILE PHOTO: Powerball tickets are seen at a liquor store, in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2023. REUTERS/Nathan Howard/File Photo

(Reuters) -A single-ticket holder from California was the sole winner of an estimated $1.77 billion Powerball drawing on Wednesday night, in the second-largest lottery jackpot in history, the lottery game’s website said early Thursday.

The ticket holder, whose identity was not disclosed, has the choice of having the estimated jackpot paid out over 30 years, or receiving an estimated $774.1 million lump-sum payment, Powerball said in a statement early Thursday.

Final ticket sales pushed the jackpot beyond its advertised estimate of $1.73 billion to $1.77 billion at the time of drawing.

The drawing is the 36th since a Powerball player hit the jackpot three months ago. In July, a ticket in California matched all six numbers to win a grand prize worth $1.08 billion.

The long-shot odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million. For comparison, the odds of being struck by lightning over the next year is 1 in 1.22 million, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

Wednesday’s purse falls just short of the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot won by a single-ticket holder in California in November 2022. That set a world record, according to Powerball.

Powerball tickets, which cost $2 each, are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than half of ticket proceeds remain in the jurisdiction where the ticket was sold.

Powerball drawings are held in the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

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