Powerball tickets are going for $3 each in China

The mania spreads.
The mania spreads.
Image: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
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The Powerball mania that’s ricocheting around the US has apparently crossed the Pacific. When Wednesday’s lottery drawing takes place at 10.59pm ET, there’s a chance the holder of the ticket that claims the $1.5 billion jackpot—the biggest jackpot in US lottery history—will be in China.

Sellers on—China’s eBay-like online marketplace owned by Alibaba—are hawking Powerball tickets to buyers in China for as little as 19.80 yuan ($3.01) to 50 yuan. So far, only a couple thousand lottery tickets have been sold in China, reports NBC News.

It’s possible that Powerball fever is infecting Chinese sellers more than it is buyers. For instance, one seller has sold 143 tickets but has 998 remaining; another offloaded only 97. But with several of these ads requiring a 10% cut of the pot (after taxes), maybe those inventory costs seem worth it.

So if someone from China did win the jackpot, how would he or she get that prize money into a bank account back home? Most sellers weren’t too specific on that point—this one (link in Chinese), for example, recommended that the owner of a winning ticket hire a financial consultant. Then again, with the yuan nosediving in value against the dollar these days, keeping the $1.5 billion stateside is probably the way to go.