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Lone ticket wins record U.S. lottery

AFP-JIJI

Life in the Sunshine State just got a lot sunnier for one lucky lottery player, after officials announced Sunday that the record-breaking $590.5 million Powerball ticket was purchased at a Florida grocery store.

The lone winning ticket was sold at a store in the town of Zephyrhills, near Tampa, late Saturday. For the lucky ticket holder — whose identity was still unknown — the purchase proved to be the best $2 investment imaginable.

Powerball is among America’s most popular lottery games.

Until just minutes before the drawing, Americans by the droves plunked down their cash in a last-minute push for a chance at scooping the top prize.

The jackpot had been touted by lottery officials as “the largest in the 21-year history of the game.” It narrowly surpassed a previous Powerball jackpot of $587.5 million, set in November 2012. Lottery officials said the store that sold the winning ticket was also due for a modest lottery payout.

The Powerball website put the odds of winning at 1 in 175,223,510, far less likely that the chance of getting struck by lightning in the United States, which according the National Lightning Safety Institute is about one chance in 280,000.

The main Powerball website advised that “swinging a live chicken above your head while wishing for the future numbers does NOT work” to improve the chances of winning.

Buying more tickets helps, “but the odds are still high and hitting the jackpot is still a question of fate,” it added.