Powerball lottery ticket sales soar as jackpot reaches $900 million—among the largest in U.S. history

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The Powerball jackpot estimated at $900 million heading into Monday night’s drawing — the third biggest Powerball jackpot and the seventh largest in U.S. lottery history — was luring more hopeful ticket buyers into shops.

Debbie Kempf, store director at Cosentino’s Price Chopper in St. Joseph, Missouri, said the store sees an increase in sales as the jackpot gets bigger.

“As it grows and the hype increases, you know, everyone gets kind of excited. So that’s where you get all those people who don’t generally buy tickets think, ‘Why not? Why not me?’” Kempf said, adding that she also sees “your regulars” who buy tickets every week but may buy a few more as the jackpot increases.

“Sometimes you’ll see groups of people or families go together and pool their money and to purchase a larger amount — you know, more opportunity,” she said.

Ticket buyers for Monday’s drawing have a chance at either $900 million paid out in yearly increments or a $465.1 million, one-time lump sum before taxes.

The game’s abysmal odds of 1 in 292.2 million are designed to build big prizes that draw more players. The largest Powerball jackpot was $2.04 billion in November.

The last time someone won the Powerball jackpot was April 19 for a top prize of nearly $253 million. Since then, no one has won the grand prize in the past 37 consecutive drawings.

Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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