The jackpot in one of the biggest US lotteries has topped $1 billion and could be won in tonight’s Halloween drawing.
The Powerball prize is the fifth largest jackpot in US history.
Americans rushed to convenience stores, supermarkets and gas stations to buy the $2 tickets ahead of the drawing shortly before 11 p.m. ET.
No one has matched all six numbers since August 3, when a ticket holder from Pennsylvania claimed the $206m (£179.5m) prize.
The biggest prize ever won in the US was the $1.586 billion (£1.383 billion) Powerball jackpot in 2016, which was claimed by three ticket holders.
“The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292.2 million,” lottery officials said.
Another lottery jackpot broke the $1 billion mark last year.
On Jan. 22, the ticket matched all six numbers in the Mega Millions lottery to win the $1.05 billion jackpot.
Big lottery jackpots have become more common in recent years as lottery officials have adjusted game rules and ticket prices to increase top prizes.
Powerball officials made the latest adjustment in August, adding an extra drawing day — going from two drawings a week to three — in an effort to collect bigger prizes and increase sales.
Although the odds of winning are slim, the chances of someone – or even a few players – coming up with the winning numbers increases because more people play as the jackpot grows.
The $1 billion prize is for winners who choose to receive the entire amount in installments over 29 annual payments.
Almost all jackpot winners choose to take the smaller lump sum payment, which for today’s draw will be around $497.3m (£433.6m).
The Powerball jackpot restarts at $20 million (£17.4 million) as soon as the winning ticket matches a drawing and continues to grow with each drawing until it is won.
Powerball is played in 45 US states, as well as in Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.