Billion-dollar jackpot a problem for electronic billboards

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)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Lottery billboards across the country are broken because of Wednesday’s record Powerball jackpot.

Ok, not really.

But the $1.3 billion prize is too large to fit on the electronic lottery billboards, including the signs in Allen County, Indiana.

Hoosier Lottery officials call the jackpot “unprecedented.”

It’s the first time a U.S. lottery jackpot has been in the billions. It’s also the largest jackpot in world history.

The “problem” is affecting billboards all over the United States.

“The existing jackpot signs are configured to handle jackpots in the hundreds of millions, but are not able to reflect the current unprecedented level which is in excess of $1 billion,” said Hoosier Lottery Chief of Staff Carrie Stoud.

The million is a permanent word on the billboard, while the digits are electronic and can be changed as the jackpot increases or decreases.

A retail sign has the same problem as an electronic billboard - only able to display a lotto jackpot up to 999 million.
A retail sign has the same problem as an electronic billboard – only able to display a lotto jackpot up to 999 million.

According to the Baltimore Sun, there was an industry agreement to put “999” on the billboards and signs.

Retail locations that display smaller versions of the billboard also have the same problem.

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