Aussies are snapping up tickets for Thursdayâs staggering $80 million Powerball draw â the second largest sum in the gameâs 23-year history.
The figure has soared following seven weeks of jackpotting, and the Lott spokesman Matt Hart said up to one in three Australian adults were tipped to buy tickets to be in the running to make lottery history.
“The current Australian record for the biggest division one win by a single entry was a massive $70 million Powerball prize won by a Hervey Bay couple in 2016,” he said.
“Can you imagine how your life might change in 2019 if your bank account ballooned by an $80 million Powerball prize?
“With a multimillion-dollar Powerball prize of this scale, it’s fair to say you could well and truly play by your own rules.”
In January 2017, a syndicate of 21 Queensland government workers scooped a $55 million prize, while one Melbourne winner also took home $55 million last January.
Last year, 14 division one winning entries in the Lott’s jurisdictions took home $344 million in Powerball prize money.
Powerball draw 1182 closes at 7.30pm AEST on Thursday, January 10.
But as that local jackpot nears record-breaking levels, a new law change that comes into effect today also means it will be harder for Aussies to win big in the future.
From today, Australians can no longer place bets on the outcome of lottery and keno draws, effectively signalling the end for the lottery betting industry.
In other words, while regular local lottery draws will not be affected, the rule change means high-profile companies that offer bets on the outcome of lotteries such as the US Mega Millions and US Powerball will no longer be able to offer their lottery betting products to Australians.
This comes as both US Mega Millions and Powerball are taking action to make it illegal for the sale of their tickets outside of the United States through lottery messenger services.
The planned betting crackdown made headlines in June 2018 after the Federal Government passed draft laws to make “lotto betting” or “synthetic lotteries” prohibited in Australia by early 2019.
The practice, which allows punters to bet on the outcome of a lottery instead of buying a ticket for an official lottery draw, was banned amid fears it enticed people away from traditional lotteries and the revenue they generate for newsagents, pubs and clubs.
Last year, former Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association CEO Adam Joy explained why he believed the ban was necessary.
“ALNA has been very firm in our stance against lotto betting for a long time,” he said in a statement.
“The lotto betting model encourages highly repetitive bets that may risk problem gambling, promote higher risk spending, and may be misleading regarding the winnings available.
“This increases risk and it comes at a significant cost to state taxes, and to local family-run small businesses — that employ locally, pay Australian taxes and support the local community.”
The Lottery Office is now the only operator in Australia that complies with the new laws to allow Australians to legally win from draws including the US Mega Millions, US Powerball and EuroMillions.
The Lottery Office spokeswoman Jaclyn Mundey said it was legal as the company issued consumers with an Australian licensed Lottery Office ticket and then purchased a matching ticket locally in the overseas lottery draw, rather than offering a bet on the outcome.
“If anyone else is offering you an online ticket or bet in an overseas lottery it may not be legal and consumers should be aware that they may be wasting their hard-earned money,” she said.
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