A jackpot of AU$80 million had been up for grabs in the latest draw and players had to wait around an hour longer than normal to find out the results, before it was finally confirmed that the top prize had rolled over. Explaining the delay, Matt Hart, spokesman for The Lott, said: “The draw occurred after 9.30pm AEST - a little later than usual as it took longer to validate the large volume of entries across Australia.”
There were still 2,467,864 prizes given away in the draw on 10th January, totalling more than AU$44 million, and Hart is now braced for an even bigger turnout next time. The jackpot has only ever reached nine figures once before, back in August of last year when two players split AU$100 million.
“If one single entry takes home the entire $100 million jackpot next week it would be the biggest Australian lottery prize ever won by a single entry,” said Hart. “The current record is held by a Hervey Bay couple who won $70 million in January 2016. Before their life-changing windfall, the winners confessed to never having won anything more than a chook raffle!”
‘Everyone is Dreaming’
The Powerball jackpot can keep growing until it is won, and Hart is excited to see just what will happen. He said: “While we hope that next week is the week these lottery records are broken, it’s hard to know just how high the jackpot will go if the Powerball winning numbers don’t come up for Australian lottery players.
“It’s the start of 2019 and everyone is dreaming about what they might do with a massive Powerball prize. As a result, we’re expecting queues out the door in lottery outlets across the nation.”
Big jackpots have become more common in Australia Powerball over the past few months after a number of changes were made to the game in April 2018. The previous format had required players to pick six numbers from 1 to 40, plus a Powerball between 1 and 20, whereas now they have to select seven numbers from 1 to 35 and a Powerball.
This change lengthened the odds of winning the jackpot, but a new prize tier was introduced to give players more ways to win and improve the overall odds of winning a prize.
By the end of last year, there had been 16 winners of the top prize throughout 2018, taking home a combined $367 million. The first big winner of 2019 is set to take their place in the Australian record books when the jackpot is eventually given away, while also becoming one of the biggest winners anywhere in the world this year!