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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

$591 million: Florida lottery winner is world’s richest lottery millionaire

Only one jackpot has ever been bigger – but this weekend’s Powerball jackpot only had one winner.

Image: Nam Y. Huh/AP

ONE FLORIDA PERSON has become the world’s richest lottery millionaire, as the only winner of the second biggest lottery jackpot in history.

Only one ticket matched all numbers in the Powerball draw, a lottery played by customers in 43 US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.

The jackpot in yesterday’s Powerball draw, of $590.5 million (€454.8 million), was the second-biggest in history.

The only time a jackpot has ever been bigger was in a Mega Millions draw last year, but in that case the $656 million prize was split between three winners.

While the US lottery system levies income taxes on any winnings – unlike in Ireland, where all National Lottery winnings are tax free – the cash value of the prize, $376.9 million (€290.3 million), is still the single biggest prize ever won.

The lottery requires entrants to match five numbers out of 59, and one ‘Powerball’ number out of 35 – meaning the odds of winning are an eye-watering 175,223,510-to-one.

The size of the jackpot means it is possible – in theory, at least – to buy a ticket with every single possible combination of numbers, spending $2 on each ticket.

This would mean that the cash prize in this week’s draw would be almost $22 million more than the $350,447,020 it would cost to buy every possible ticket.

In those circumstances, however, someone holding every possible ticket would run the risk of sharing the main jackpot – and face a significant financial loss as a result.

Previously: Is it possible to guarantee a profit in the Euromillions? Here’s your answer

More: Euromillions winners forced to flee

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