With the Powerball jackpot reaching a record breaking $1.5billion, players are going to extraordinary lengths in the hope of buying the winning ticket.
Massive lines have been forming at retailers across the country with some people waiting hours just to get their hands on a ticket for tonight’s draw.
And in the six states that don’t take part and sell Powerball tickets, some people have been forced to travel hundreds of miles just for their chance to get their hands on the top prize.
People line up outside the Primm Valley Casino just inside the California border from Nevada to buy tickets for tonight’s Powerball draw
People were bundled up in coats and scarves as they waited for almost three hours to get their hands on tickets
The Primm Valley Casino lottery store is one of the busiest lottery terminals in the U.S. due to its close proximity to Nevada, where they don’t play Powerball
Jonathan Boone, who travelled from Las Vegas to the Primm Valley store to buy his Powerball ticket chooses his numbers
Both Hawaii and Alaska don’t take part in the Powerball draws due to the distance between them and the mainland United States.
This means that residents here must travel across an ocean or even mountains just to get to a lottery kiosk.
Religious beliefs have posed a barrier in Alabama, Mississippi and Utah, with people travelling to the nearest border towns in states that do play to buy their ticket.
Meanwhile floods of people have been crossing state lines from Nevada, where they don’t play the Powerball due to a nod to the state’s casinos, into California.
This resulted in a line of hundreds of people outside the Primm Valley Lotto Store off Interstate 15 on the border between Nevada and California, who were bundled up in scarves and coats as they waited in freezing temperatures.
At the Bluebird Liquor Store in Hawthorne, California, people wait in line for their chance to win the $1.5billion jackpot
At Al’s Market liquor store in Westminster, California, they were unable to display the full jackpot amount as it could only show up to $999million
One of the was William Burke, who drove 45 minutes Monday from his home in Henderson, Nevada, to buy 10 tickets costing $20.
He waited three hours to buy his tickets with the store being named as one of the nation’s busiest lottery retailers.
Mr Burke, a Vietnam veteran, said: ‘I thought maybe I’d be part of history.’
Elsewhere inn Utah, people have been crowding gas stations to buy tickets along the border with Wyoming and Idaho.
Lines also formed at a convenience store in Champlain, New York, which sits on the Canadian border as people travelled across to buy Powerball tickets
While people in Alaska said they were asking friends and family in nearby states such as Oregon to buy tickets on their behalf.
It comes as the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, reports that some of the biggest ticket sales come from border cities.
It means residents of one state are driving to another to play Powerball, then probably spending a more on gas, soda or doughnuts.
Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, said: ‘What that means for policymakers, that’s their business.
‘I’m sure they’re watching those dollars flow out of their state.’
POWERBALL WINNER IN NEW YORK WOULD BRING HOME SMALLEST PRIZE DUE TO STRICT TAX LAWS
A man buys a Powerball ticket at a news stand in New York. According to new research a winner in the state would bring home the smallest prize of anywhere else due to strict taxes
Massive lines also formed at stores in New York but according to new research a winner in the state would bring home the smallest prize of anywhere else.
By the time a potential winner pays state and city taxes, their actual jackpot would be considerably less – only $579.4 million.
David Selig, a federal tax practitioner who runs Selig & Associates told the New York Daily News: ‘If you’re unlucky enough to win in New York, this is the most expensive state in the U.S. to win the lottery.
‘Between the federal and state taxes, you lose more than 50 cents on the dollar. And then there are city taxes, too.’
In contrast, a Californian winner would take home about $698 million as state law there exempts lottery winnings from state income taxes.