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Friday 18 April 2014

Powerball jackpot climbs to $400m

The Powerball lottery jackpot has soared (AP)

The prize in the Powerball lottery in the US has climbed to 400 million dollars (£238 million) - one of the largest in US lottery history.

Lottery officials said no one matched all six numbers for Saturday's 330.8 million dollar (£197 million) draw.

The next draw is on Wednesday and will be the fourth-biggest Powerball jackpot and sixth-highest lottery prize of all time - at least 400 million dollars or 227 million dollars (£136 million) in a lump sum.

Large jackpots tend to boost ticket sales and make it more likely the prize will be shared, and changes to the Powerball and Mega Millions games have the jackpots reaching fantasy-inducing levels more often.

The current jackpot began its ascent at the end of 2013.

More than half of the top 10 prizes in US lottery history have occurred since 2012, according to statistics provided by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

The nation's biggest lottery prize was a 656 million dollar (£391 million) Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012 that was shared by three winning tickets sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. The second-largest came in December, a 636 million dollar (£379 million) Mega Millions prize. The two winning tickets were purchased in San Jose, California, and Atlanta.

The biggest Powerball jackpot ever was a 590.5 million dollar (£352 million) prize won by a Florida woman last May.

The odds of matching all six Powerball numbers are one in about 175 million, according to statistics from the Multi-State Lottery Association in Iowa.

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands.

Press Association

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