Lucky Indian Expat Wins Powerball Prize

The Powerball lottery may be the most famous lotto game in the world. Established in 1992 in the US, it is available to players worldwide, including those in India. Thus, it should come as no surprise that among those that have won prizes in the millions, you can find many Indian names.

On March 7, 2018, Ushakiran Patel, a 62-year-old retiree, and infrequent lotto player, manage to join the ranks of international Powerball winners. She did so by matching the first five numbers (06-13-19-36-51) of the draw, enough for the second-prize win of one million dollars. However, after mandatory withholdings and taxes, she kept only $633,040 of that amount through a single payment. 

According to her statement, Mrs. Patel just got lucky. The numbers she played had no special significance, as she chose them at random. Furthermore, she elaborated that she had no idea what she would spend her new-found fortune on, but that it should provide extra-security to her and her family.

However, while Mrs. Patel’s Powerball prize is nothing to scoff at, it pales in comparison to Nandlall Mangal’s win of $245.6 million. Mangal, a 42-year-old Indian American living in New York, Staten Island, with roots from Guayana, West Indies, won the massive prize from a 6$ Quick-Pick Powerball ticket. 

Online Powerball Ticket Sales Explode in India After Lockdowns

Once the global crisis hit and the threat of lockdowns loomed, panic engulfed the country. In March, when the lockdown began, lotto shops, like most businesses, had to close. The occurrence affected the Sikkim State Lotteries and the Kerala State Lotteries, to the traditional lotto shops in India. However, once they opened back up, in mid-May and the start of June, they have been slowly recovering. That said, during the down-time, once bettors discovered that they could try their luck with the American Powerball online, as well as other international lotteries, many are not looking to return to their old ways.

Though it should go noted that amidst the pandemic, the overall sales of lottery tickets did go down, and lotto companies resorted to reducing jackpots. The Powerball Product Group, in April, announced that it lowered its prize fund below the previously guaranteed minimum of $40 million. Indian players are not limited to playing online American lotteries. They can also enjoy one from around the world, including draws such as Mega Millions, the Italian SuperEnalotto, EuroJackpot, EuroMillions, and more. Plus, they can play lotteries at offshore online casinos.

Lotteries Are More Popular Than Online Casino Games in India

While playing casino games online is increasing in popularity worldwide, and India is keeping pace, lotteries are still a more-established leisure activity in the country. Seeing as land-based gaming establishments are illegal in most states, excluding Goa, Daman, and Sikkim, most Indians have no option but to pick numbers in hopes of lady luck smiling on them en route to a prize.  

To get a good grasp on how many people buy lottery tickets in India, we only have to analyze the situation in Kerala. There are over 40,000 authorized lotto agents in the state and over 70 lakh tickets in daily circulation. Due to the low investment, in turns of both money and time, lotteries are the ideal form of entertainment that may yield a reward. Since the outcome is entirely random, players either let the site pick their numbers, or they do so based on superstitions. Online play is even more convenient as registration on lotto platforms such as Lottoland, Lotto Smile, and Lotto 247 is super-easy. Players can make picks at any time from anywhere, not worrying about their ticket getting damaged or stolen. These sites even promote responsible play by providing options such as self-excluding when a player believes he has invested too much. 

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