The Powerball lottery is played across 45 US states and the record jackpot has generated increased interest.
The record-breaking $1.9bn United States Powerball drawing was delayed Monday because a participating lottery had issues processing sales and it’s likely that the results won’t be known until later Tuesday, officials have said.
Players pay to choose five numbers between 1 and 69, and a sixth number, between 1 and 26 – the “powerball”. If all six numbers picked match the ones chosen in the lottery drawing, the ticket holder wins the jackpot.
The game is played in 45 US states, as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
“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 10:59pm EST (03:59 GMT) Monday drawing, the association told The Associated Press news agency: “It’s against our policy to name the lottery that is experiencing the delay.”
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”.
“Like the rest of America, Powerball is eager to hold its drawing for the world record jackpot, however, protecting the integrity of the draw is of upmost importance, even if that means a further delay,” the statement said.
“Due to the length of the draw delay, it is likely that we will not know the official results of the Powerball drawing until Tuesday morning,” California Lottery said on Twitter, citing a statement from Powerball officials.
— CA Lottery Press (@calotterypress) November 8, 2022
No new time for the drawing has been given.
The winning numbers and recorded video of the drawing will be posted to the Powerball website and YouTube channel. Players should hold onto their tickets, the statement said.
The jackpot is nearly $400m larger than the previous record jackpot and will keep growing until someone wins the prize. Only four previous jackpots have topped $1bn, but none of those are close to the current prize, which started at $20m back on August 6 and over three winless months has grown ever more massive. No one has won the jackpot since August 3.
A winner who chooses an annuity, paid annually over 29 years, would get the estimated $1.9bn payout. Nearly all winners instead opt for cash, which for Monday’s drawing would be $929.1m.
Even as more people attracted by the giant prize drop $2 on a Powerball ticket, the game’s ultra-long odds of 1 in 292.2 million mean there still is a good chance that another drawing will pass without anyone winning the grand prize. That would push the jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing to more than $2bn.
Those who spend $2 on a Powerball ticket might wonder if something is wrong when 40 drawings pass without a jackpot winner, but this is how the game is designed. It’s unlikely anyone will win the prize until a growing jackpot attracts more players. And more ticket sales mean the lottery can raise more money for public programmes, which is the point of the state lotteries.
Still, it has been a long time without a jackpot, and if there isn’t a winner sometime on Tuesday because of the delay, a record will have been reached: 41 draws without anyone matching all six numbers.