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NEWARK, N.J. -- Lottery players -- some spending hundreds of dollars, others paying with handfuls of change -- lined up in seven states Friday for a shot at one of the biggest jackpots in U.S. history: a $220 million Big Game prize. The winning numbers will be drawn tonight.
The jackpot hit the $200 million mark after 17 straight drawings in which nobody won the jackpot. The biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a Big Game prize of $363 million, won in May 2000 by ticket holders in Michigan and Illinois. The multistate Powerball game has had two jackpots worth approximately $295 million, according to MSNBC.
The Big Game is played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. Players pick five different numbers from 1 to 50 and one Big Money Ball number from 1 to 36. The odds of winning, assuming one ticket is purchased, were put at 1 in 76 million.
With Big Game excitement running high, even Rebecca Paul, president of the Georgia Lottery, warned players about buying too many of the $1 tickets: "You can't truly change your odds, the more tickets you buy."