Powerball lottery: Three winning tickets worth $1.5 billion sold in Florida, Tennessee and Chino Hills, California

 The winning numbers were 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10

Click to follow
The Independent US

The identities of the winners of a record-breaking $1.5 billion Powerball lottery scoop have not yet been released.

But clues as to where they bought the tickets - such as a humble 7-Eleven convenience store in Chino Hills, a suburban area of Los Angeles in San Bernardino county, California - are giving rise to speculation as to who may have received news that will change their lives forever. 

California Lottery Association spokesman Alex Travesta confirmed that the top prize will be shared at least three ways, with other winning tickets purchased in Florida and Tennessee. 

The winning numbers were 08, 27, 34, 04 and 19, and the Powerball was 10 - and the prize will be shared equally between ticket-holders, who will then face a huge federal income tax bill of 39.6 per cent, plus state taxes, CNN reports. 

To win, tickets must match all five numbers in any order and the red Powerball number. But ticket holders face tough odds of an incredible 1 in 292.2 million that their numbers will have come up. 

It is likely that lottery officials will announce more details of the winners - or further winning tickets - in the next few hours. 

But it's also possible that we'll never get to know who struck gold, because the experts recommend they try to stay anonymous. 

Some states don't release the names of lottery winners at all - and it is possible to create or nominate a trust to claim the prize in your place.

The reason the lottery total has been so high is because the last time it was drawn, on January 9, was the 19th week in a row without a grand prize winner.

Regular tickets cost just $2, and Power Play tickets $3 - and there has been an estimated $2.6 billion spent on tickets since the last $40 million jackpot in November.

Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states - including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Just six states do not participate, but the Multi-State Lottery Association says that some of the biggest Powerball sales have come from cities bordering states that don't sell them.