The richest lottery drawing in U.S. history was delayed Monday night.
The drawing for a $1.9 billion jackpot was delayed because of a technical issue, according to the video posted of the live drawing at 11 p.m. Monday.
“Because of a technical problem tonight, we are unable to bring you the Powerball drawing at this time,” presenter Laura Johnson told millions of viewers.
“As soon as we are able to resolve the issue and conduct the drawing,” the video of the drawing will be available on the official Powerball site, she said.
In a statement, Powerball announced that the delay was “due to a participating lottery needing extra time to complete the required security protocols.”
The game’s rules require that any drawing “be delayed until we can be sure that all game procedures can be successfully completed,” Ms. Johnson said.
Lottery officials did not publicly say how long the delay might be, but according to The Hill, a drawing in April was delayed for more than four hours over a security issue.
The prize has grown to $1.9 billion because nobody has picked all six numbers since Aug. 3, 40 drawings ago, and recent changes such as expanding to three drawings a week have encouraged, in Powerball’s words, “larger, faster-growing jackpots.”
If Monday’s drawing still does not produce a winner, not only will it set a record of 41 straight games without a winner but Wednesday’s contest will certainly top $2 billion.
Only four previous times in U.S. history has a lottery jackpot reached even half that.
If taken in a single lump sum of cash, as most recent big lottery winners have chosen to do, the $1.9 billion prize would be worth $929.1 million. The larger, advertised amount is what the other option — a 29-year annuity — would be worth over its lifetime.
Federal taxes would quickly take almost 40% of that amount, with state taxes a possibility on top of that.
The $2 Powerball tickets are sold in 45 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The odds of a winning Powerball ticket are 1 in 292.2 million.