Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in California has won a record $2.04 billion (Sh243 billion)Powerball jackpot after more than three months without anyone hitting the top prize.
The winning numbers drawn Tuesday morning at the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee were: white balls 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the red Powerball was 10.
The jackpot ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, northeast of Los Angeles. A voicemail left for Joe’s Service Center was not immediately returned.
The jackpot was by far the largest lottery jackpot ever won, topping the previous record $1.586 billion prize won by three Powerball ticketholders in 2016.
The Multi-State Lottery Association said Monday night’s scheduled drawing was delayed by nearly 10 hours until Tuesday because a participating lottery had issues processing sales.
The jackpot was initially reported as an estimated $1.9 billion on Monday, but the prize was increased to $2.04 billion Tuesday morning after updated calculations.
The jackpot is more than $400 million larger than the previous record jackpot. Only four previous jackpots have topped $1 billion, but none of those are close to the current prize, which started at $20 million back on Aug. 6 and over three winless months has grown ever more massive. No one has won the jackpot since Aug. 3.
The problems in holding a drawing Monday night were blamed on one participating lottery's inability to process its sales data.
“Powerball requires all 48 participating lotteries to submit their sales and play data prior to the winning numbers being selected. Once Powerball receives the outstanding submission, the drawing can proceed,” the Multi-State Lottery Association said in a statement.
Nearly three hours after the scheduled 10:59 p.m. EST Monday drawing, the association told The Associated Press:
“It’s against our policy to name the lottery that is experiencing the delay.” Later on Tuesday morning, the association said in a new statement that Powerball was “in communication with the lottery throughout the night as it works to resolve the issue.”
Terry Rich, a former director of the Iowa Lottery who also served on the Powerball board, said the delay was likely due to a two-part verification system of ticket sales that makes use of an outside vendor to ensure all is in order before the game's numbers are drawn.
“Each state must verify through a dual process that all of the sales and dollars match before the Multi-State Lottery Association can do the draw,” said Rich, who headed the Iowa Lottery for 10 years and was president of the North American Lottery Association. “This is a state-by-state procedure, which separates the whole process and has been very effective.”
Rich said state lotteries deal with similar problems several times a year but the delays usually don't attract much attention because the potential jackpots are far less than was up for grabs this week.
The winning numbers and recorded video of the drawing were posted to the Powerball's YouTube channel.
The $2.04 billion prize is for a winner who chooses an annuity, paid annually over 29 years. Nearly all winners instead opt for cash, which was valued at $997.6 million.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.
The game is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.