27 January 2016, By Mandy Paterson

Three Powerball Winners Share Record U.S. Jackpot

3 min read

The largest lotto jackpot in American history recently broke records reaching a total of $US1.59 billion, the equivalent of $2.2 billion Australian dollars, that could be won with a single lotto ticket. For the three lucky Powerball winners who shared that prize pool, life will never be the same again.

The three winning tickets were sold in California, Tennessee and Florida. Unlike most American states, those three states do not tax lotto winnings. While the federal income tax still applies, the three winners will still walk away with an unbelievable amount of money. Additionally, it is a legal requirement in all three states that the names of the winners be released publically.

A couple from Tennessee appeared on the Today show two days after the draw to break the news of their win, but maintained that they wanted to “return to their private lives afterwards”. The winning husband said that although he was excited about the extraordinary win, he and his wife were “a little scared” of the implications. “Now I’ll be nervous because everybody knows”.

His wife said that they were “up all night” following the Powerball draw and that they didn’t get enough sleep. She added that they hadn’t had enough time to think about what to do with their once-in-a-lifetime windfall, but that she had no plans to quit her job any time soon.

The Californian winning ticket was 1 of 18,000 purchased by the owner of a chain of nursing homes as gifts for his employees and patients. The actions of this generous boss, who is reportedly “prone to acts of random, eccentric kindness”, lead to a 62-year old woman employed as a senior nurse becoming the second winner in the mega Powerball jackpot.

The woman was working the night shift and didn’t have time to check her ticket until one of her seven children called to remind her. Her manager said the woman just “didn’t believe it”. He explained how she went over the ticket, “number by number”, with her colleagues until it sunk in that she was a brand new multi-millionaire. “And then she freaked out.”

Despite the shock and excitement, the hard-working mother went on to finish her shift. “It couldn’t have happened to a better person,” said the manager.

The third and final winning ticket was purchased in Florida, but further details of the winner are not yet known. In the US, winners have 180 days to come forward and claim their prize. Given the laws that require the identifies of the winners to be released publically, it is possible that the winner is busy receiving legal advice and preparing their loved ones for the earth-shattering change to come, or simply waiting for the furore to diminish a little before coming forward.

Australians are becoming more aware of international lotto games with massive jackpots unlike those we see in Australia. It is worth remembering that the countries with these jackpots, such as the U.S, have much larger populations, and therefore their jackpot sizes are proportionate. Unlike the U.S, Australians also enjoy tax-free winnings.

Under Australian law, Australian citizens are not permitted to buy tickets in a foreign lottery. Some online retailers will sidestep this by allowing players to bet on the outcome of the lottery, but lottery officials are urging eager players to be cautious. These retailers can be based internationally in tax havens like Gibraltar without clarity of ownership and a lack of consumer protection.

Oz Lotteries is a licenced and accredited online retailer of official Australian lotto games. Oz Lotteries customers can be assured that all ticket purchases are secure and guaranteed entry in to the draw. Winnings are guaranteed for every winning ticket, and prize money is paid directly into your online account which is subject to an identification verification process. Oz Lotteries also offers a number of handy features for online lotto players including autoplay tickets, jackpot alerts, and a dedicated lotto app for iOS and Android devices.

Could you be Australia’s next millionaire? Buy your lotto tickets online now.

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