Billion-dollar US Powerball ticket sold in California

July 20 (Reuters) – A very lucky Powerball player in Southern California has won the multistate lottery’s $1 billion jackpot prize, ending a streak of 38 consecutive drawings without a grand prize winner.

It was just the third time the Powerball jackpot prize has reached $1 billion. Jackpot winners have to match all six of the drawn numbers, with Wednesday night’s winning numbers being 7, 10, 11, 13, 24 and red Powerball 24.

The winning ticket was sold at Las Palmitas Mini Market in downtown Los Angeles, officials said.

At a press conference outside the market on Thursday, lottery officials said the winner has not yet come forward but has a full year to do so. Once a claim is filed, the agency investigates to ensure the winner is legitimate, a process that can take months, spokeswoman Carolyn Becker said.

The winner can either accept $558.1 million in cash or can choose to receive the estimated $1 billion, before taxes, in 29 annual payments.

Thirty-six other tickets sold across the country won million-dollar prizes, while an additional three won $2 million prizes, according to the Powerball website.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are around one in 292 million.

Only two other Powerball jackpots have reached the $1 billion threshold, the largest of which was for a whopping $2.04 billion, also won by a player near Los Angeles.

Thanks to the massive number of ticket sales for both the Powerball jackpot and the Mega Millions lottery, the California Lottery raised an estimated $46.1 million for public schools in the three-month wait for a jackpot winner, it said.

Now that a winning ticket has been drawn, the jackpot will be reset to $20 million.

Reporting by Rachel Nostrant in New York
Additional reporting by Joseph Ax in New York
Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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