Here’s How China Is Getting in on the Powerball Craze

January 13, 2016, 4:48 PM UTC
A man buys a Powerball lottery ticket at a newsstand in New York City on January 12, 2016. Record sales drove up the largest jackpot in US history to a whopping $1.5 billion as people dreaming of riches flocked across state lines and international borders to buy tickets. AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Kena Betancur — AFP via Getty Images

The Powerball craze is now so big that it has made its way over to the other side of the globe.

People in the U.S. are buying Powerball tickets and using Taobao, a Chinese e-commerce website, to sell them to people in China at an inflated price. Only a few thousand have been sold so far, and Taobao has already caught wind of the venture and is deleting sellers’ profiles, according to NBC.

One seller, a student studying in the U.S. who wished to remain anonymous, buys the tickets for $2 and sells them for about $3.80. If someone wins the jackpot, he’ll charge a 10% service fee. The young entrepreneur says that he sold 600 tickets in just three days, earning himself over $1,000. “The huge prize money has made more and more Chinese people notice Powerball,” he told NBC.

The prize is currently at $1.5 billion, the biggest lottery jackpot in North America. If someone gets really lucky, it would be the world’s largest jackpot ever awarded to a single person.

Dong Peng, another Taobao seller, discussed the logistics of getting the prize money to customers. He told NBC that if the payout is under $100, he can simply transfer it electronically. But in the event that someone wins a much larger sum, “it is not safe to help them to collect so much money in that situation,” he explained. Peng suggests that his customers get a lawyer or financial advisor to help them figure out the best way to go about collecting the money.