California Powerball player to claim record $2 billion jackpot

FILE PHOTO: Customer buys Powerball lottery ticket in New York

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) -A Powerball player in California holds the only winning ticket sold for the $2.04 billion jackpot, the lottery game's website said on Tuesday, ending a string of 40 drawings that produced no winners and pushed the top prize into record territory.

The ticket holder, whose identity was not disclosed, has a choice of taking a lump sum of $997.6 million cash or receiving the full amount in 29 annual payments.

The ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, about five miles (8 km) north of Pasedena in Los Angeles County.

The odds of matching all six numbers in the drawing - 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and 10 - were 1 in 292.2 million.

The previous record for a Powerball jackpot was set in 2016 when three ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee shared a $1.59 billion top prize.

The $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot ranks as a world record for a lottery top prize, according to multiple media reports.

The drawing, which had been scheduled for 10:59 p.m. EST on Monday, was delayed for hours when at least one of the 48 participating state lotteries needed more processing time, according to a tweet from the California Lottery. It did not identify the state in question.

Officials of the Multi-State Lottery Commission, which supervises the Powerball drawing, could not be reached by Reuters for comment.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in AtlantaEditing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)