US Powerball jackpot worth $1 billion up for grabs

A Powerball lottery sign shows the latest billion dollar prize

(Reuters) - Lottery players across the United States will be scurrying to purchase their Powerball tickets on Wednesday with hopes of striking it rich by winning the whopping $1.09 billion jackpot, the fourth largest in the game's history.

The drawing, set for 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT on Thursday), is the 40th since the last Powerball winner hit the jackpot on New Year's Day.

Winner or winners must match the correct six double-digit numbers on a $2 ticket. Chances of that happening are one in 292.2 million.

The prize ranks as the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot but remains about half of the largest ever in U.S. lottery jackpot history. That came in November 2022 when a single ticket holder in California won a $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot.

Last week, a single ticket matched all six numbers in the Mega Millions drawing, winning a hefty $1.13 billion, the fifth-largest prize in that game's history. That ticket was sold in New Jersey.

Powerball tickets are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is also played in Puerto Rico.

(This story has been corrected to fix the time to 0300 GMT Thursday, not Wednesday, in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)