A Powerball lottery of nearly $1.6bn, the largest in US history, was won with at least three winners from California, Florida and Tennessee, officials said.

Lottery officers confirmed to Reuters news agency that the California winning ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven store in a Los Angeles suburb. The identity of the winners was not yet known.

The $1.586bn jackpot will be split between the lucky lottery drawers. Officials have said it will take several hours before more winners can be confirmed.

The odds of picking a winning combination were one in 292 million.

 Three winners in record US lottery draw

Powerball is a lottery game played in 44 American states as well as the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The six winning numbers were 08, 27, 34, 04 and 19, with the Powerball number being 10.

The lucky Los Angeles 7-Eleven store was crowded with people snapping pictures with the shop staff.

Dozens of people from TV news crews to gawkers flocked to the store and spilled into its car park. 

The store will receive $1m as a bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Dreams come true

The prospect of a huge payout sparked a ticket-buying frenzy that was expected to reach a rate of $1.3 million a minute during the evening commuter rush hour, Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas lottery, told a news conference.

Oscan Gamie, 43, a New York restaurant deliveryman, bought a dozen of the $2 tickets at a midtown Manhattan grocery.

"If I win, I'll give it all away to poor people," he told the Reuters news agency.

Tatiann Cave, a 23-year-old home health aide, said she would use the jackpot to start her own cosmetics business.

"I'd like to quit my job and do something inspiring," Cave said.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, told the Associated Press news agency that they expected that more than 85 percent of the possible number combinations would have been bought for the drawing.

Winners have to pay 39.6 percent of the prize in federal income taxes, in addition to any state taxes.

Estimated jackpot amounts, which are released daily, have been steadily rising since November 4, when the jackpot was reset at $40m.

Source: Agencies