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Jackpot Hits $220 Million in the Big Game

April 12, 2002|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Lottery players--some spending hundreds of dollars, others paying with handfuls of change--lined up in seven states Thursday for a shot at one of the biggest jackpots in U.S. history: a $220-million Big Game prize.

"It's like getting struck by lightning, but you've got to hope," said Gabriel Darnell, who planned to buy five tickets at Sheridan Liquors in Peoria, Ill., for today's drawing.

The jackpot hit the $200-million mark after 17 straight drawings in which no one hit the jackpot.

The biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a Big Game prize of $363 million, won in May 2000 by ticket holders in Michigan and Illinois. The multistate Powerball game has had two jackpots worth about $295 million.

The Big Game is played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 50 and one Big Money Ball number from 1 to 36. The odds of winning were put at 1 in 76 million.

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