A jackpot of $ 1.6 billion in the American Powerball lottery

A $1.6 billion US Powerball lottery jackpot

UPGRADE DAY

Only a few hours left and lottery fans in the United States will know this Saturday if Powerball's astronomical sum of $1.6 billion – a world record sold. 

The possibility of winning this jackpot was turning a few heads in Washington on Saturday.

“Dream homes, trips, helping family and friends”, list Dontel Ducksworth, 28, in a store in the American capital where you can buy Powerball lottery tickets. “But first you have to take care of yourself.”

“I repeat: 'Good luck!'” confides tobacconist Bezu Wondi in the face of the steady flow of customers who came to try their luck before the 10:59 p.m. draw. (2:59 GMT Sunday).

A ticket costs $2.

The odds of winning the jackpot are only one in 292.2 million. For comparison, the probability of being struck by lightning is one in a million, according to US health authorities.

And if several people choose the winning combination, they will have to share the jackpot.

The lucky winner(s) will have to choose between receiving the entire sum in installments spread over three decades or receiving a one-time payment of $782.4 million, according to an estimate by Powerball.