World's second-largest lottery jackpot of $1.7 billion (£1.4bn) won by player in California

Powerball’s terrible odds of 1 in 292.2 million are designed to generate big jackpots. Credit: AP

A lucky Californian lottery winner has pocketed $1.73 billion (£1.4bn) in a Powerball jackpot, the world's second-largest lottery prize.

It ends a long stretch - dating back to July - without a winner of the top prize.

The winning ticket was sold at Midway Market & Liquor in Frazier Park, according to the California Lottery, though the buyer has not yet been identified.

“The phone’s been ringing off the hook, people saying congratulations. Pretty crazy,” the store’s night worker, identified only as Duke, told KCAL-TV.

“Somebody owes me a truck,” he said with a smile.

A group of American women show their Powerball tickets at a lottery agent in Massachusetts. Credit: AP

"A lot of customers come in, you know they come in every day to get their tickets, religiously. And a lot of them said: ‘Oh, if I win I’m gonna get you a new truck.’

"So where’s my truck? I’ll be waiting.”

He expected the winner will be a local resident.

Before this, there had been 35 consecutive drawings without a big winner, making the jackpot the world’s second-largest lottery prize.

The only top prize that was ever bigger was the $2.04 billion (£1.7bn) Powerball won by a player in California in November.

Powerball’s terrible odds of 1 in 292.2 million are designed to generate big jackpots, with prizes becoming ever larger as they repeatedly roll over when no one wins.

And wins in recent months have been few and far between.

The $1.73 billion jackpot is for a sole winner who opts for payment through an annuity, doled out over 30 years.

Winners almost always take the cash option, which for Wednesday night’s drawing is estimated at $756.6 million (£615m).

Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

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