(Area) There’s jackpot news galore right now, with Powerball’s big prize climbing to an estimated $600 million annuity ($376.9 million cash option) for Saturday’s drawing and the Mega Millions jackpot rolling to an estimated $190 million ($140.9 million cash) for Friday’s drawing. Not to be left out, the Hot Lotto® jackpot also continues to grow, with that cash prize hitting an estimated $6.21 million for its drawing on Saturday.
Saturday’s Powerball jackpot is the largest in the 21-year history of the game and the second-largest lottery jackpot ever worldwide. The previous record Powerball jackpot of $587.5 million was won on Nov. 28, split between two tickets in Arizona and Missouri. The largest jackpot in the world was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won on March 30, 2012. That big prize was split by three tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
The Powerball jackpot was last won in the drawing on March 30, so it has been growing for about six weeks.
Strong sales across the country are the reason the prize is taking big jumps now. Saturday’s estimated jackpot is about $236 million higher than the $363.9 million prize that was up for grabs in Wednesday’s drawing.
The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 175.2 million because there are about 175.2 million ways you can combine the numbers in the game to make a play. By tracking sales, lottery officials can estimate how many of the possible combinations have been purchased for a particular drawing. Lottery officials estimate that about 80 percent of all the possible combinations will be purchased for Saturday’s drawing.
Players are encouraged to sign the back of their tickets and to keep them in a safe place. The lottery also suggests that jackpot winners should seek financial and legal advice as they make plans to enjoy their new winning experience.
“And don’t forget to check your ticket for other prizes,” said Lottery CEO Terry Rich “In addition to the jackpot, there are eight other prize levels in Powerball, ranging from $4 for matching just the Powerball up to $2 million for matching the first five numbers with the Power Play®.”