The biggest lottery jackpot draw in history took place on 13 January 2016 in Florida. After a nail-bitingly exciting draw, the $1.6 billion US Powerball jackpot was won by three players. Lest you feel sorry for them having to share the prize, rest assured that each of the three walked away with half a billion dollars.
The $1.6 billion Powerball mania didn't just affect the United States. The historic lottery draw caused a worldwide frenzy and millions of non-Americans were also trying to get their hands on Powerball tickets, leading some Americans on social media to denounce the "foreigners who buy up tickets for our Powerball". Canadians, Australians and Europeans were buying tickets left, right and centre and ended up winning massive prizes. The worldwide attention resulted in the ticket sales going through the roof: a record-breaking 1.5 billion tickets were sold.
After the recent $6.4 million US lottery jackpot win by a man from Iraq, the second prize in the $1.6 billion US Powerball on 13 January 2016 also went to a player from outside the US. This time the prize went to a retired man in San Salvador, the capital city of the tiny country of El Salvador, who, like many, had purchased his US Powerball tickets online through a lottery ticket messenger service.
And these two are just the tip of an ever-expanding iceberg. With so many foreigners participating, we will probably never know the full extent of their winnings.
H.V. is a 73-year-old pensioner from El Salvador in Central America. He has many grandchildren, and even three great-grandchildren, some of whom live in the American state of California. The soft-spoken man and his wife get by on a small pension, and for years they’ve wanted nothing more than to visit their great-grandchildren in America. After H. won $1 million in the Powerball, he finally has sufficient means to make this dream come true.
H. correctly guessed the five main numbers and scooped up the second prize – he was just a single Powerball number removed from sharing in the $1.6 billion jackpot.
As the official Powerball website states "If you legally purchase a Powerball ticket, you can play the game and you can collect prizes. You do not have to be a citizen or a resident to play the game."
Lottery ticket messenger services, of which theLotter is the oldest and most established, buy official Powerball tickets at licensed resellers for customers, making this a legal method for playing the lottery abroad. After purchasing, couriers scans the ticket and upload it to an encrypted online account, where it can only be accessed by the player. If the player wins a big prize, he or she flies to the US to personally collect it.
In El Salvador, H. is still in shock, but he’ll soon be preparing to take that long-awaited trip to see his great-grandchildren… and to collect his million!
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