EuroMillions Jackpot Reaches £99 Million

Excitement is growing ahead of this Friday’s draw as players aim to become the first EuroMillions jackpot winner of 2016. With players unable to clinch any of the previous 11 top prizes, the next draw will see an astonishing £99 million (€131 million) up for grabs.

The jackpot was last won on Friday 18th December, when a lucky player from Spain collected a prize worth over £60.6 million (€83.2 million). However, since then there have been no enormous eight-figure pay-outs, with the last major windfall occurring on Tuesday 12th January to provide some light relief. The draw saw two lucky players correctly match five numbers to claim £624,487 (€833,543) each – still a life-changing amount of cash!

A win this Friday wouldn’t be enough for the victor to take over at the top of the biggest jackpot winners table, but it would catapult them spectacularly into the top 10 – 9th place, in case you were wondering.  While the exchange rate isn’t as favourable as when an anonymous UK winner scooped an incredible £113 million (approximately €129.8 million) in the draw on Friday 8th October 2010, you’d have enough in Euro to safely unseat them from their position on the leaderboard!

For UK players, the last Friday of every month is Mega Friday. While tomorrow’s special edition of the Millionaire Maker game is set to lavish seven players with £1 million each, there will also be an unforgettable trip to Dubai thrown in for good measure. The lucky winners will have the chance to spend a week living the high life in the city’s most luxurious hotel, indulging in extravagance as they sample the lifestyle of a millionaire.

To be in with a chance of winning Friday’s EuroMillions jackpot or even one of the amazing Mega Friday prizes, you can purchase tickets online or from authorised retailers. Who knows, it could be you celebrating a big win this weekend! Good luck!

Irish Lottery Website Suffers Cyber Attack

A cyber attack on the National Lottery website and ticket machines resulted in Irish Lotto customers finding themselves unable to purchase tickets ahead of Wednesday night’s draw. The technical issues faced were the result of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack affecting the communication networks.

From 11:21am on Wednesday morning, players were locked out of the site and unable to use ticket terminals for up to two hours, resulting in some missing out on being entered into the draw for the €12 million Irish Lotto jackpot.

A statement released by the National Lottery said: “Indications are that this morning’s technical issues were as a result of a DDOS attack affecting our communications networks. The issues were resolved by the National Lottery’s DDOS protection systems, limiting disruption and restoring all operations within two hours.”

Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which has been in control of the franchise since 2014, has faced criticism prior to this latest attack. The performance of new technology introduced by the company has been called into question following a series of high-profile outages, the most recent of which came in February 2015 when 3,500 terminals went down for several hours and forced officials to reschedule a draw for the following day. PLI have urged customers not to panic, reassuring them that no personal data had been affected by the attack and that the incident will be subject to thorough investigation. The regulator for the National Lottery, Liam Sloyan, has spoken to PLI and requested a report explaining what happened.

The draw itself saw ticket holders unable to clinch the jackpot, but one player was able to match five numbers and the Bonus ball, which resulted in them pocketing €120,319. Over 93,000 other players were also able to collect prizes from the draw, ranging from a €3 scratch card right up to  €768. PLI and National Lottery officials will be hoping to avoid further problems ahead of Saturday’s draw, when the jackpot will be worth an estimated €14 million.

Three Winners Split Record Powerball Jackpot

Three players scooped $528.8 million each on Wednesday 13th January as lottery history was made and the record-breaking Powerball jackpot of more than $1.5 billion was finally given away.  The winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee, bringing an end to a run of 19 rollovers.

The all-important numbers drawn were 4, 8, 19, 27 and 34 with Powerball 10. California lottery officials were the first to break the news that the extraordinary top prize, which was the biggest world lottery jackpot in history, had been won, confirming that a 7-Eleven on Chino Hills Parkway in the south of the state had sold one of the lucky tickets. Tennessee lottery officials also reported later that the winning ticket in their state had been sold in Munford, north of Memphis.

The jackpot had grown to a new high mark following unprecedented levels of interest over the past few days. Nationwide, ticket sales were greater than $326 million on Tuesday and the figure was expected to get up to $600 million on the day of the draw itself, according to the Texas Lottery commission’s executive director Gary Grief. It was also estimated that 85.8 percent of all possible combinations had been covered in the ticket sales, making it highly likely that the jackpot would be won.

Previously, the biggest Powerball jackpot ever given away was the $590.5 million won by Gloria MacKenzie in May 2013. She still holds the record as the biggest single winner of a lottery prize after last night’s jackpot was split three ways.

As well as the jackpot winners, there were over 26 million other players who picked up prizes in Wednesday’s record-breaking draw. This included 73 ticket holders who each scooped $1 million after matching all five main numbers without the Powerball, plus another eight who matched five main numbers and used the Power Play option to land $2 million each.

As fans of the game now wait for the jackpot winners to step forward to claim their money, there is another Powerball draw to look forward to on Saturday night. A $40 million jackpot is available and you can play from anywhere in the world using the Lotto Tickets page. Who knows, you might just follow in the footsteps of Powerball’s record-breaking trio and land the top prize!

Could You Stay Anonymous if You Won the $1.5 Billion Powerball Jackpot?

As ticket sales continue to push tonight’s $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot to even greater heights, players will be snapping up tickets and dreaming about winning the biggest lottery prize in history.

If a single winner picks up tonight’s mind-blowing top prize, they might wonder if they can keep their name out of the papers as they try to comprehend how a ten-figure prize will change their lives. However, staying anonymous if you win Powerball isn’t as easy as disappearing to a tropical beach somewhere with your friends and family after you pick up your payout.

Only seven US jurisdictions allow lottery winners to remain anonymous after a big win. If you purchased a Powerball ticket in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico or South Carolina, you could simply decline to have your identity made public. There have been instances of anonymous Powerball winners in the past, all of whom have come from these jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, it’s not straightforward in other participating states, where your name, where you live and where you purchased the ticket is a matter of public record. State lottery officials claim that the reason for publishing winners’ names is to promote transparency and to encourage others to play as it shows that anyone can win big. You might consider showing up in a hat and sunglasses, but the effort will be for nought if your name is displayed on that huge cheque.

You could consider claiming your prize through a blind trust that doesn’t use your name, where you assign power of attorney to a third party (usually a lawyer) who claims the money on your behalf. After designating yourself as the beneficiary of the trust, you (technically) have no power over the assets of the trust, but you are paid the money accordingly. The trust is awarded with the prize, and the person with power of attorney holds up the big cheque for you.

In some states, though, this approach won’t work. In Florida, Powerball winners cannot stay anonymous, even if the prize is claimed through a trust, as the trustee’s name must be made public. Should you hit the jackpot tonight, you should consult a lawyer straight away to see what your options for anonymity are in your state.

While the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are quite long at 1 in 292 million, you do stand a chance of grabbing a $1 million prize for matching the five main numbers drawn, or even snagging a Power Play prize that reaches into five figures, which would be classed as a major prize by nearly all state lotteries and would warrant a trip to their headquarters.

As you’re thinking of ways you would splash the cash if you won, it might also be a good idea to imagine how you would – or wouldn’t – spread the news of a big Powerball win.

Powerball Questions Answered as Jackpot Reaches $1.4 Billion

Editor’s Note: The Powerball jackpot was re-estimated at approximately 11.00am EST and has risen to an incredible $1.5 billion!

Powerball fever has gripped America and beyond as players look to pocket a jackpot the likes of which has never been seen before in a lottery anywhere in the world. The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday 13th January currently stands at $1.4 billion and could rise even higher depending on sales over the next two working days.

Players are flocking to retailers and besieging online lottery concierge services with requests for tickets for the record-breaking draw on Wednesday night, but how much do you know about America’s biggest jackpot game? Here are the answers to some common Powerball questions.

Is it better to buy a Quick Pick or choose your own lottery numbers?

Powerball Quick Picks let the computer choose you a completely random selection of numbers is a popular way of playing this lottery game. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of all Powerball plays are Quick Picks and official sources report between 70 and 80 percent of winners were from computer-generated tickets, which would suggest your chances are fairly even between the two methods of entering.

The advantage of using a Quick Pick is that it stops you from falling into the trap of choosing numbers based around birthdays or calendar dates which, by definition, can only go up to 31. This means you are instantly excluded from winning the jackpot if any white balls between 32 and 69 are drawn. In addition, if the balls all happen to be below 31 you could win, but you are more likely to have to share your prize as this is a common method of choosing your Powerball numbers.

Will the winner receive the full $1.4 billion Powerball jackpot?

If only one player matches all five white numbers and the Powerball on Wednesday night, they will have the opportunity to choose cash payment or an annuity. The latter option would see them receive the full $1.4 billion if they choose to accept the prize in 30 payments over 29 years. However, they will be liable for state and federal taxes on each instalment as lottery winnings are counted as taxable income in the US. The winner can also opt to take a lump sum cash payment, which currently stands at $868 million, which would also be subject to taxation.

Is it better to take the annuity or the cash option?

Winners are encouraged to take financial advice over whether the cash or annuity options would be best for them as it is dependent on their personal circumstances. Obviously, older winners might prefer to take the cash to enjoy the winnings while they can, although annuities are treated as assets and can be transferred to another person in the winner’s will. They can also be cashed out and added to the deceased’s estate before it is divided.

Annuities are guaranteed and are a great option for those who want to ensure they don’t blow the lot in one go, whereas some winners who take the cash option do so believing they can earn more than the annuity amount through shrewd investments. That is certainly possible, but not without risk. Another reason to take a cash payment is that it allows you to purchase big ticket items, like a dream mansion, outright without having to save up or take out a mortgage.

You have 60 days from presenting your winning ticket to lottery officials to decide between the cash and annuity payments.

Do you have a better chance of winning if fewer people play Powerball?

The odds of matching all five white balls and the Powerball remain at 292.2 million to 1 whenever you play the game. You are not competing against other ticket holders, but rather taking on the odds of matching the correct combination from the 69 main numbers and 26 Powerballs. Whether the top prize is $40 million or $1.4 billion, the odds remain constant.

You can buy Powerball tickets from authorised retailers across the US and online, wherever you are, through the Lotto Tickets page. Remember to snap up your potential $1.4 billion entries in good time to avoid the rush and sit back with your fingers crossed tightly ahead of Wednesday’s gigantic draw!

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