Powerball hits $1.5B, largest-ever lottery jackpot for one winner

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The Lottery Paradox

The Powerball lottery jackpot climbed to $1.5 billion on Tuesday, making it the largest-ever U.S. lottery prize as well as the world's biggest potential jackpot for a single winner, according to lottery officials.

The payout has increased due to strong ticket sales on Monday, said Texas Lottery Commission spokeswoman Kelly Cripe.

See photos of Americans whipped into a frenzy over the record-breaking Powerball jackpot:

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January 2016 massive Powerball jackpot
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Powerball hits $1.5B, largest-ever lottery jackpot for one winner
7-Eleven store clerk M. Faroqui celebrates after learning the store sold a winning Powerball ticket on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 in Chino Hills, Calif. One winning ticket was sold at the store located in suburban Los Angeles said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for California lottery. The identity of the winner is not yet known. (Will Lester/The Sun via AP)
7-Eleven store clerk M. Faroqui celebrates with customers after learning the store sold a winning Powerball ticket on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 in Chino Hills, Calif. One winning ticket was sold at the store located in suburban Los Angeles said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for California lottery. The identity of the winner is not yet known. (Will Lester/The Sun via AP)
Hundreds gather outside the 7-Eleven, after it was announced the winning Powerball ticket was sold at the store, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 in Chino Hills, Calif. One winning ticket was sold at the store located in suburban Los Angeles said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for California lottery. The identity of the winner is not yet known. (Will Lester/The Sun via AP)
People line up to buy Powerball lottery tickets at Kavanagh Liquors, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in San Lorenzo, Calif. The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night's drawing is at least $1.5 billion, the largest lottery jackpot in the world. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Laura Woodward displays the Powerball lottery tickets she bought for her office pool at Lichine's Liquor store, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night's drawing to be over $1 billion, the largest lottery jackpot in the world.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
People buy lottery tickets at the Primm Valley Casino Resorts Lotto Store just inside the California border Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, near Primm, Nev. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over $1 billion dollars for the next drawing on Wednesday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Patrons line up to buy Powerball lottery tickets outside the Primm Valley Casino Resorts Lotto Store just inside the California border Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, near Primm, Nev. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over 1 billion dollars for the next drawing on Wednesday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A sign shows the Powerball jackpot at a gas station Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Miami. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over $1 billion dollars for the next drawing on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Snow falls on a billboard advertising the record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot in downtown Pittsburgh, Jan. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
This is a billboard advertising the record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot in downtown Pittsburgh, Jan. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A tractor-trailer passes by a Kansas Lottery billboard in Topeka, Kan., Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over 1 billion dollars, and the drawing is still two days away. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A sign advertising the Powerball lottery hangs on a store in New York, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The jackpot is so big that billboards around the country have to advertise the prize as $999 million because they're not built to show billions. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A Powerball ticket is sold in a truck stop in Carlisle, Pa., Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over 1 billion dollars. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A customer shows his purchased Powerball tickets at a grocery store in Hialeah, Fla., Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The Powerball jackpot has grown to over 1 billion dollars. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A Pennsylvania lottery kiosk promotes the record $1.4 billion Powerball Jackpot in a mini-mart in Monroeville, Pa., Jan. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
People walk past a sign advertising the Powerball lottery in New York, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The jackpot is so big that billboards around the country have to advertise the prize as $999 million because they're not built to show billions. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A billboard outside Waverly, Neb., displays the top Powerball prize as $999 million, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The jackpot of over a billion dollars is so big that billboards around the country have to advertise the prize as $999 million because they're not built to show billions. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2016 file photo, Powerball tickets are shown in San Lorenzo, Calif. No ticket matched all six Powerball numbers following the drawing for a record jackpot of nearly $950 million, lottery officials said early Sunday, Jan. 10, boosting the expected payout for the next drawing to a whopping $1.3 billion. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Kimeron Ruszovan as she displays her Powerball quick picks purchased Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Powerball sales are at record numbers for Saturday nights drawing.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Sergio Ponce looks over his Powerball quick picks purchased Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Powerball sales are at record numbers for Saturday nights drawing.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Francisco Figueroa, second from right, buys Powerball lottery tickets at the Blue Bird Liquor store in Hawthorne, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Lottery officials confirmed Friday that Saturday nightâs drawing will be for a record $800 million. The ever-increasing jackpot is a result of strong national sales ever since the jackpot was near $400 million just days ago. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Jay Suthar works the lottery machine at Pine Liquors in Fort Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. With Powerball sales doubling previous records, the odds are growing that someone will win Saturdayâs $800 million jackpot, but if no one matches all the lottery numbers, next weekâs drawing is expected to soar past $1 billion. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A Powerball lottery card rests on a table, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Lottery officials say sales have been robust since no one won Wednesday's estimated $500 million jackpot. It will be the biggest U.S. jackpot ever, beyond the previous record of a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
A woman purchases a Powerball lottery ticket at a convenience store in Washington, DC, January 7, 2016. Lottery officials predict Saturday's jackpot will reach $700 million, the largest in history. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
A sign in the window of a liquor store shows the Powerball lottery jackpot at $700 million in Washington, DC, on January 7, 2016. The largest jackpot in lottery history, a whopping $700 million, is up for grabs in the United States on Saturday, driving feverish excitement among lotto players dreaming of becoming millionaires. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
A billboard displays the estimated jackpot for the Powerball lottery, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Miami. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $500 million. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Jose Garrido shows his Powerball tickets, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $500 million. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A clerk hands over a Powerball ticket to a customer, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $500 million. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 11: A Powerball lottery ticket is printed for a customer at a 7-Eleven store on February 11, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Ticket sales have caused the jackpot to grow $500 million, one of the largest in the game's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 11: Kirk Cook rings up a Powerball lottery ticket sale at a 7-Eleven store on February 11, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Ticket sales have caused the jackpot to grow $500 million, one of the largest in the game's history. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DUNKIRK, MD - JANUARY 06: With the Jackpot now at 500 million, Sherrie Haines sells a Powerball ticket to Robert Sweeney at the BP gas station, January 6, 2015 in Dunkirk, Maryland. People are visitingÃlottery counters across the area with hopes of hitting it big in tonights Powerball drawing. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
DUNKIRK, MD - JANUARY 06: With the Jackpot now at 500 million, Gale Call (L) and Sherrie Haines (C) sell a Powerball ticket to Mike Nastasi (R) at the BP gas station, January 6, 2015 in Dunkirk, Maryland. People are visitingÃlottery counters across the area with hopes of hitting it big in tonights Powerball drawing. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A person purchase Powerball lottery tickets from a newsstand Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Philadelphia. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A man purchases a Powerball lottery ticket at a liquor store in Washington, DC, January 4, 2016. Lottery officials predict the January 6 jackpot will reach $400 million, one of the largest in the game's history. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 file photo, a sign shows the estimated Powerball jackpot in Spring, Texas. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Powerball selection number selection slips are pictured at a store in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $450 million. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A billboards displays the current worth of a winning Powerball lottery ticket Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Springfield, Ill. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
A sign advertising Powerball tickets is pictured next to a display of instant lottery tickets in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $450 million. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Chris Huntsman, of Tulsa, Okla., displays his Powerball ticket at a store in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $450 million. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Jermaine Emory Mallory fills out a Powerball number selection slip at a store in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $450 million. No one has won the big prize in two months and officials say the jackpot is now the sixth-largest ever in North America. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A billboard displays the estimated jackpot for the Powerball lottery in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
A convenience store employee holds a Powerball lottery ticket in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Multi-State Lottery Association officials say the Powerball jackpot is up to $450 million for Wednesday night's drawing. It's the largest lottery jackpot in nearly a year and the sixth-largest ever in North America. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Powerball play slips are stacked up in a store in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Jermaine Emory Mallory displays his Powerball ticket at a store in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $450 million. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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The Powerball lottery drawing will be held on Wednesday. The game is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories.

The jackpot is worth $930 million if a winner chooses an immediate cash payout instead of annual payments over 29 years, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

The grand prize in Wednesday's drawing is the world's richest lottery jackpot that could go to a single ticketholder, and the amount is expected to rise further before then, according to lottery officials.

Data curated by FindTheData

The Powerball jackpot has been growing ever since the last winner was drawn in November.

While the current $1.5 billion prize is by far the largest ever up for grabs in North America, Spain's El Gordo lottery, or "the Fat One," had a prize pool of $2.45 billion in December 2015. A year earlier, it totaled $2.7 billion.

But El Gordo payouts are awarded to thousands of ticketholders while Powerball's riches could go to a single ticketholder.

See photos from 'El Gordo' fever in Spain:

15 PHOTOS
Lottery fever in Spain, 'El Gordo'
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Powerball hits $1.5B, largest-ever lottery jackpot for one winner
A group of people celebrate in a street of Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Malaga, as they hold a ticket wlth the first prize of the Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2015. This year's winning number is 79140 representing takings of 4 million euros (£2.9 million). The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Jorge Guerrero (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man hugs two girls in a street of Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Malaga, where some locals won the first prize of the Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2015. This year's winning number is 79140 representing takings of 4 million euros (£2.9 million). The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Jorge Guerrero (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
Officials verify the balls with the numbers during the draw of Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (The Fat One) at the Teatro Real in Madrid, on December 22, 2015. The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. This year's 'El Gordo' winning number represented takings of 4 million (£2.9 million). AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds her tickets as he attends the draw of Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (The Fat One) at the Teatro Real in Madrid, on December 22, 2015. The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. This year's 'El Gordo' winning number represented takings of 4 million (£2.9 million). AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
A man shows his tickets as he attends the draw of Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (The Fat One) at the Teatro Real in Madrid, on December 22, 2015. The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. This year's 'El Gordo' winning number represented takings of 4 million (£2.9 million). AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
An official waits for the balls with the numbers to be poured into the rotating drum before the draw of Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (The Fat One) at the Teatro Real in Madrid, on December 22, 2015. The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. This year's 'El Gordo' winning number represented takings of 4 million (£2.9 million). AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22: A woman wearing drum costume waits the start of the traditional Spanish 'El Gordo' Christmas lottery draw at the Royal Opera House in Madrid, Spain, 22 December 2015. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22: A man holds his lottery ticket as he wait the start of the traditional Spanish 'El Gordo' Christmas lottery draw at the Royal Opera House in Madrid, Spain, 22 December 2015. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A worker holds out the ball with the top prize of euro 4,000,000 ($4,352,160) during the Spanish Christmas lottery draw, known as 'El Gordo' or 'The Fat One', in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. Celebrations were guaranteed Tuesday in the southern beach town of Roquetas de Mar, southern east Spain, where tickets bearing the top prize number of 79140 in Spain's Christmas lottery, known as "El Gordo" (The Fat One) were sold. The number appeared on 1,600 tickets, known as âdecimosâ (tenths) with each holder winning 400,000 euros ($434,800). The tickets are usually sold in many different lottery sales points making it virtually impossible to win the entire 640 million euros assigned to the top prize number. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
People watch the Spanish Christmas lottery draw known as "El Gordo" or "The Fat One" in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. Celebrations were guaranteed Tuesday in the southern beach town of Roquetas de Mar where tickets bearing the top prize number of 79140 in Spain's Christmas lottery, "El Gordo" were sold. The number appeared on 1,600 tickets, known as âdecimosâ (tenths) with each holder winning euro400,000 ($434,800). The tickets are usually sold in many different lottery sales points making it virtually impossible to win the entire euro640 million ($696,346,000) assigned to the top prize number. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
People celebrate in a street of Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Malaga, after winning the first prize of the Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2015. This year's winning number is 79140 representing takings of 4 million euros (£2.9 million). The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Jorge Guerrero (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of people celebrate in a street of Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Malaga, as they hold a photocopy of a ticket with the first prize of the Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2015. This year's winning number is 79140 representing takings of 4 million euros (£2.9 million). The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Jorge Guerrero (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of people celebrate in a street of Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Malaga, as they hold a ticket wlth the first prize of the Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2015. This year's winning number is 79140 representing takings of 4 million euros (£2.9 million). The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Jorge Guerrero (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of people celebrate in a street of Villanueva de la Concepcion, near Malaga, as they hold a ticket wlth the first prize of the Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) on December 22, 2015. This year's winning number is 79140 representing takings of 4 million euros (£2.9 million). The Gordo lottery first took place in 1812 in Cadiz and has not missed a year since, continuing through Spains civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1938, there were actually two Christmas lotteries, one held in Burgos by dictator General Francos Nationalist regime, and the other in Republican-ruled Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Jorge Guerrero (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
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