Powerball hits $70 million, triggers rush on newsagencies

Powerball's $50 million prize failed to find a winner on Thursday night. Now the game has reached its highest ever jackpot with $70 million up for grabs, and punters are rushing to buy tickets. 

Bankstown Plaza newsagent Phillip Nguyen said he had been overwhelmed with customers seeking tickets in the record draw.

"Yesterday was a shocker. We usually close at 6pm but ended staying open until 7pm, the machine was running non-stop," he said.

If there is a single winner next Thursday, the $70 million prize would be the largest single-lottery ticket prize in Australian history. 

Last year, a group of friends shared $70 million, an Australian record, which they won after using spare change left over from lunch to pick up an Oz Lotto ticket. 

Mr Nguyen said customers were already talking about what they were going to do with the money. 

"The first thing on their mind is that they are going to quit their job tomorrow," he said. 

The odds of winning the $70 million jackpot are 76,767,600 to 1. 

The long odds have not deterred punters who would not usually buy a Powerball ticket, Tatts Lottery spokeswoman Elissa Lewis said. 

Mr Nguyen had also noticed a surge in customers who had never bought tickets at his newsagency before. 

Across town, the owner of a Broadway newsagency, Joe Izzo, advised those wishing to avoid queues to get in early. 

"Starting from next Tuesday it's really going to bump up," he said. "Come Thursday, forget about it." 

Oz Lotto statistics reveal that, in the main draw, numbers 29, 4 and 34 have been the most frequently drawn since July 2007.

In the Powerball draw, 15, 4, 7 and 12 have been drawn mostoften. 

Though $70 million is a handsome prize, US lottery records dwarf their Australian counterparts. 

In May 2013, a US grandmother, Gloria McKenzie, won the largest single Powerball in history with a ticket worth $US590 million ($633 million)  

Mrs McKenzie seemed destined to win. Even the purchase of the ticket came through a stroke of luck. Another lottery player let her go ahead in the queue, and she bought the winner. 

She has since donated $US2 million to her local school and kept a very low profile. 

This article Powerball hits $70 million, triggers rush on newsagencies was originally published in Brisbane Times.