U.S. Powerball lottery jackpot hits record $2.04 billion as another drawing takes place

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) -After hours of delay, Powerball officials on Tuesday morning completed the drawing for a record-breaking $2.04 billion jackpot, potentially ending the suspense for the hordes of Americans who snapped up tickets in hopes of striking it rich.

The drawing, which was initially scheduled for 10:59 p.m. EST (0400 GMT) on Monday, followed a drawing on Saturday that was the 40th in a row without someone winning the big prize, which grows larger each time it goes unclaimed.

A winning ticket must match all six numbers drawn. It was not immediately clear whether anyone held a winner after Tuesday's draw of the numbers 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and 10.

The drawing was delayed from Monday night when at least one of the 48 participating state lotteries needed more processing time, according to a tweet from the California Lottery. It did not identify the state in question.

Officials of the Multi-State Lottery Commission, which supervises the Powerball drawing, could not be reached by Reuters Tuesday morning for comment.

The winner can choose either a onetime lump sum in cash, likely in excess of $1 billion, or multimillion-dollar annuity payouts stretched over 29 years. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

Powerball officials did not immediately provide the specific payouts.

The previous record for a Powerball jackpot was set in 2016 when three ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee shared a $1.59 billion top prize.

The current $2.04 billion lottery jackpot ranks as a world record, according to multiple media reports.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Angus MacSwan and Jonathan Oatis)