The soaring Powerball jackpot isn’t just breaking records. It’s breaking signs.
Throughout the country, many of the billboards and electronic displays advertising the 23-year-old lottery game are only equipped to display three-digit awards. Now that the jackpot has swelled to a world-record $1.5 billion, those signs are stuck at the largest number they can display: a paltry $999 million.
Lottery officials have noted the problem as Powerball fever spreads — and the jackpot continues to expand. (It grew again Tuesday.)
“We’ve never experienced a jackpot of this size and our signage wasn’t designed to exceed three digits,” Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, said recently.
The Colorado Lottery acknowledged the problem in a set of tweets Sunday, noting at one point that “we’re going to have to get creative!”
In Indiana, Hoosier Lottery Chief of Staff Carrie Stoud said signs can’t handle the “unprecedented level” at which the jackpot stands.
With the jackpot surging past $1 billion, Georgia Lottery officials modified a billboard in downtown Atlanta.
Here’s a look at a few maxed-out signs elsewhere around the country:
— Colorado Lottery (@ColoLottery) January 10, 2016
— Texas Lottery (@TexasLottery) January 10, 2016
The sign says it's 999 million, but current Powerball is really 1.3 billion. Yes, the sign ran out of room. pic.twitter.com/BjQyLrywsj
— Owen Jensen (@OwenJensen) January 11, 2016
— MEREDITH ANDERSON (@MeredithWRDW) January 11, 2016
— Diana Rugg (@DianaRuggOnTV) January 10, 2016
— Mike Garber (@mgarber914) January 10, 2016
The next Powerball drawing will be held Wednesday.
This post, originally published on Jan. 11, has been updated.