Powerball lottery: Canadians flocking online to try to win nearly $1 billion

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[A clerk hands over a Powerball ticket to a customer, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $500 million. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize/AP Photo/Alan Diaz]

As the U.S. Powerball prize grows to almost $1 billion Cdn for Saturday night’s draw, Canadians are trying their luck for the American jackpot, according to a global online ticket site.

“Thousands upon thousands of Canadians are buying tickets online for the biggest lottery jackpot draw in world history,” said a news release issued Thursday by theLotter.com, which sells tickets for lotteries around the world.

The estimated jackpot listed on the Powerball website on Thursday was $700 million US, about $985 million Cdn.

According to theLotter.com, Canadians used to have to physically go to U.S. border states to buy lottery tickets in stores if they wanted to buy an American lottery ticket — a service the company started to provide online a few years ago.

The largest Powerball prize won by a single player was $590 million US in 2013. The winner was 84-year-old Gloria MacKenzie, who bought her ticket at a Florida supermarket after another customer let her go ahead in line. MacKenzie let the lottery computers generate the numbers at random and also bought four other tickets for the draw.

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