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$348 MILLION: April misses bring May riches

May 1, 2016, 9:35 am

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Powerball

Powerball making another run at the record?

By Todd Northrop

This week Powerball will be the hot ticket, featuring a jackpot that will tempt a lot of people to take a chance at unimaginable wealth.

The new high-water mark of $348 million for the current Powerball jackpot was achieved after no winning tickets were sold for Saturday night's $314 million grand prize.

The lump-sum cash payout value of Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is $226.1 million — the 12th-largest ever recorded in United States lottery history.  (See top 25 annuity and cash values below.)

Players looking to calculate what they would receive after the initial federal and state tax withholdings can find it all pre-calculated for each Powerball jurisdiction on the Jackpot Analysis page at USA Mega, a web site devoted to the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state lottery games.

Wednesday's Powerball jackpot will be the biggest lottery jackpot since the world witnessed the first billion-dollar jackpot that could potentially award all that money to a single person.  As is turned out, the world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot on January 13th was won by three tickets from California, Florida, and Tennessee.  The California winner has not yet claimed their share.

The mammoth prize up for grabs on Wednesday is the result of 17 consecutive draws without a winner.  The run-up started as a $40 million prize on March 5.

Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs.

The winning numbers for Saturday, April 30, 2016, were 3, 12, 16, 32, and 34, with Powerball number 14.  The Power Play number was 3.

Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 3 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from California and 2 from New York.

The California second-prize winner will be awarded $1,273,656, because California does not award fixed prizes. By law, California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level.

None of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option, which would have automatically doubled their payout to $2,000,000.  Power Play is available in all Powerball jurisdictions except California for an extra $1 per play.  The fixed nature of the prize increase offered in Power Play is not compatible with California's mandated pari-mutuel payouts.

34 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $50,000.  Of those tickets, 6 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $150,000, and 4 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $20,633 this drawing.

Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $34 million from its previous amount of $314 million. The cash value was raised by $21.4 million from its previous amount of $204.7 million.

The next Powerball drawing will take place Wednesday night at 10:59 pm Eastern Time.

When a Powerball ticket is purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1 per ticket, the second prize amount doubles to $2,000,000, and all other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by the Power Play number randomly drawn that evening.

A complete list of prizes available for matching various numbers 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 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 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

Wednesday's Powerball jackpot currently stands as the 15th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.  That position may rise before the drawing Wednesday night, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

  1. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  3. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  4. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  5. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  6. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  7. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  8. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  9. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  10. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  11. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  12. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  13. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  14. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  15. Powerball: $348 million, May 4, 2016 - Preliminary estimate, no winner yet
  16. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  17. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  18. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  19. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  20. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  21. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  22. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  23. Mega Millions: $321 million, Nov. 4, 2014 - New York
  24. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  25. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California

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 12th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  3. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  4. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  5. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  6. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  7. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  8. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  9. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  10. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland
  11. Powerball: $227.8 million cash, Feb. 19, 2014 ($425.3 million annuity) - California
  12. Powerball: $226.1 million cash, May 4, 2016 ($348 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, no winner yet
  13. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  14. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  15. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  16. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  17. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  18. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  19. Mega Millions: $197.5 million cash, Nov. 4, 2014 ($321 million annuity) - New York
  20. Powerball: $197.4 million cash, Sep. 30, 2015 ($310.5 million annuity) - Michigan
  21. Mega Millions: $194.4 million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  22. Powerball: $191.9 million cash, Mar. 2, 2016 ($291.4 million annuity) - Florida
  23. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  24. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  25. Mega Millions: $177.3 million cash, Jan. 16, 2015 ($270 million annuity) - Illinois

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

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

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