Powerball lottery: Canadians flocking online to try to win nearly $1 billion

As the U.S. Powerball prize grows to almost $1 billion Cdn for Saturday night's draw, thousands of Canadians are trying their luck for the American jackpot, according to an online ticket site.
A vendor sells a ticket for the $700 million U.S. Powerball lottery draw at Times Square in Manhattan on Thursday. According to a global lottery sales website, thousands of Canadians are buying tickets online to try to win the jackpot, which amounts to almost $1 billion Cdn. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

As the U.S. Powerball prize grows to almost $1 billion Cdn for Saturday night's draw, Canadians are trying their luck for the American jackpot, according to a global online ticket site. 

"Thousands upon thousands of Canadians are buying tickets online for the biggest lottery jackpot draw in world history," said a news release issued Thursday by theLotter.com, which sells tickets for lotteries around the world. 

The estimated jackpot listed on the Powerball website on Thursday was $700 million US, about $985 million Cdn.

According to theLotter.com, Canadians used to have to physically go to U.S. border states to buy lottery tickets in stores if they wanted to buy an American lottery ticket — a service the company started to provide online a few years ago. 

The largest Powerball prize won by a single player was $590 million US in 2013. The winner was 84-year-old Gloria MacKenzie, who bought her ticket at a Florida supermarket after another customer let her go ahead in line. MacKenzie let the lottery computers generate the numbers at random and also bought four other tickets for the draw. 

With files from The Associated Press

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