Feb 9, 2012, 7:43 am
By Todd Northrop
For only the 13th time in the history of United States lotteries, a lottery jackpot run-up has crossed into $300 million+ territory.
The new high-water mark of $310 million for the current Powerball jackpot was achieved after no winning tickets were sold for Wednesday night's $250 million grand prize.
The lump-sum cash payout value of Saturday's Powerball jackpot is $193.4 million.
The mammoth prize is the result of 13 draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $20 million prize on Dec. 28, 2011.
The winning numbers for Wednesday, February 8, 2012 were 17, 28, 38, 39, and 51, with Powerball number 33.
Even though nobody won the jackpot Wednesday, 5 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Georgia, 1 from Missouri, 1 from Nebraska, 1 from New Jersey, and 1 from North Carolina.
None of the second prize winners had purchased the Power Play option for an extra $1, which would have increased their second prize win to $2 million.
64 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 12 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $40,000.
When a Powerball ticket is purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1 per ticket, any non-jackpot prize is increased according to a fixed prize schedule, which can be found on the Powerball Drawing Detail page at USA Mega, as well as on the Powerball Prize Payouts page at Lottery Post.
Powerball is now played in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.
Powerball lottery results are published within minutes of the drawing at USA Mega (www.usamega.com). The USA Mega Web site provides lottery players in-depth information about the United States's two biggest multi-state lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball.
Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time
Saturday's Powerball jackpot currently stands as the 13th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States. That position may rise before the drawing Saturday night, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.
If nobody wins Saturday, it's anyone's guess how high it will go.
For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:
The Big Game is the original name of Mega Millions, from the game's first drawing on Sep. 6, 1996 through May 14, 2002. The name was changed to Mega Millions starting with the May 17, 2002 drawing.
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