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$380 MILLION: Massive sales push Powerball jackpot higher

Feb 6, 2015, 2:04 pm

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Powerball

Now 10th-largest jackpot in US history

By Todd Northrop

Due to larger than expected sales volume, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) has raised the official Powerball lottery jackpot estimate for Saturday's drawing to $380 million.

The updated jackpot figure propelled Saturday's drawing into the top 10 highest jackpots in United States lottery history.  (See the top 25 annuity and cash value jackpots below.)

The all-important lump-sum cash value of the jackpot has been raised to $256.8 million — still the 6th-largest cash jackpot ever offered in a United States lottery drawing.

Lottery players seeking to check the winning numbers Saturday night are urged to use USA Mega (www.usamega.com). State lottery Web sites are normally brought to a standstill during busy periods, while USA Mega normally remains responsive.

Powerball drawing results will be posted immediately after the 10:59 pm drawing at USA Mega. The number of winners and new jackpot will be announced after all participating Powerball states have reported their data, which normally occurs within a couple of hours after the drawing.

If there are no jackpot winners for Saturday's drawing, the annuitized jackpot for next Wednesday will be an estimated $450 million.

Tickets will remain on sale typically until 10:45 pm Eastern Time on Saturday, although players should check with a lottery retailer in their state for the exact sales cutoff time. Players are advised not to wait until the last minute. (See what can happen if you do.)

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 175 million. The odds of winning any of the Powerball prizes are approximately 1 in 32.

Powerball tickets cost $2 each.

Lottery players can see an after-tax analysis of the current Powerball jackpot by visiting USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page.

Powerball features nine different prize levels, ranging from $4 all the way up to the jackpot. Players can win even if they just match one number — the Powerball number.

All states except California also offer the Power Play option for an extra $1 per ticket purchased. The Power Play multiplies any non-jackpot prizes won by a fixed amount, depending on the prize level won.

Players who purchase the Power Play and win second prize will automatically have their prize increased by 2x to $2 million.

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 tied for 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.

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Mega Millions: $648 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  3. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  4. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  5. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  6. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  7. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  8. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  9. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  10. Powerball: $380 million, Feb. 7, 2015 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  11. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  12. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  13. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  14. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  15. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  16. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  17. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  18. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  19. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  20. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  21. Mega Millions: $326 million, Nov. 4, 2014 - New York
  22. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  23. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  24. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 25, 2002 - West Virgina
  25. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana

The number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 13
  • Mega Millions: 10
  • The Big Game: 2

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.

Top 25 cash value jackpots

Since many lottery winners collect their winnings in cash, the lump-sum payout is an important measure of what a winning ticket could be worth.

Looking at the cash value, the upcoming Powerball jackpot ranks as the 6th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  1. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  3. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  4. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($648 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  5. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  6. Powerball: $256.8 million cash, Feb. 7, 2015 ($380 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  8. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  9. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland
  10. Powerball: $227.8 million cash, Feb. 19, 2014 ($425.3 million annuity) - California
  11. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  12. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  13. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  14. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  15. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  16. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  17. Mega Millions: $197.5 million cash, Nov. 4, 2014 ($326 million annuity) - New York
  18. Mega Millions: $194.4 million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  19. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  20. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  21. Mega Millions: $177.3 million cash, Jan. 16, 2015 ($270 million annuity) - Illinois
  22. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  23. Powerball: $170.5 million cash, Dec. 25, 2002 ($314.9 million annuity) - West Virginia
  24. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  25. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia

The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Mega Millions: 13
  • Powerball: 11
  • The Big Game: 1

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