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After no one hit the $950 million Powerball jackpot, there was speculation the prize would soon grow to hit a record high of $1 billion. That milestone was reached this weekend. According to lottery officials, the payout will likely be $1.4 billion dollars by the next drawing, which is slated to take place this week. Although the odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million, people are flocking to local stores vying for a chance to win the prize. “That just shows the total randomness of Powerball,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery on Sunday. “At our peak last night, we were selling more than $1.2 million in Powerball tickets every single minute.” The Powerball is played in 44 states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The next drawing will happen at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Read more.

Poll: Most Voters Oppose President Obama Acting Alone on Gun Control

Following the mass shootings that have been taking place across our country, gun control has been pushed to the forefront of national conversation. Since Congress is torn on what to do about the issue, President Obama has decided to take matters into his own hands; but according to a new poll, a lot of voters aren’t backing his decision to address the problem on his own. The poll revealed that fifty-eight percent of U.S. voters believe the government should only take action if the president and Congress see eye-to-eye on a plan for gun control. Thirty-four percent of voters believe that President Obama should take action alone if Congress is opposed to his plans. Twenty-one percent of voters think that President Obama’s executive order will lower the amount of shootings in our country, while fifty-nine percent disagree. Obama has been vocal about putting pressure on the National Rifle Association, but many voters believe NRA regulations make the country safer. Read more.

Natalie Cole to be Laid to Rest Today

Loved ones of Natalie Cole will gather to say their final goodbyes to the songstress today. Cole’s funeral is being held at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, where she was a member. R&B singer Chaka Khan, who was close to Cole, will sing at her funeral. Khan recently took to Twitter to share her thoughts about Cole’s passing. “My heart is heavy with the loss longtime friend @NatalieCole. Her presence & talent will b missed. Good nights, Sis,” she tweeted. Cole passed away on New Year’s Eve due to complications with pulmonary arterial hypertension that caused heart failure. She will be buried alongside her dad, mother, and siblings at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. Read more.

Oregon Standoff Enters Second Week

The armed group that ambushed the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon on January 2 is entering the second week of their standoff. The group decided to seize the area to show their discontent with federal land policies. The leader of the group, Ammon Bundy, has ignored calls by local leaders, police officials, and residents to leave the buildings. It was reported that Rep. Dallas Heard met with the group for what he called a “fact-finding mission.” “I was concerned that some of my constituents might have been mixed up in this,” Heard said in a statement. “A good shepherd’s job is to take care of all his flock.” Read more.


NEWS ROUNDUP: Powerball Prize Hits $1.4 Billion…AND MORE  was originally published on