Jul 17, 2016, 10:51 pm
10th-largest cash value in US history
By Todd Northrop
This week Powerball will be the hot ticket, currently featuring the largest lottery jackpot in the world.
The new high-water mark of $361 million for the current Powerball jackpot was achieved after no winning tickets were sold for Saturday night's $335.5 million grand prize.
The lump-sum cash payout value of Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is $250.3 million — the 10th-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.
Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs. For example, the original estimate for Saturday's drawing was $333 million, but by the time all the proceeds were counted just before draw-time, the jackpot had swelled to $335.5 million.
The mammoth prize is the result of 20 consecutive draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $40 million prize on May 11.
The winning numbers for Saturday, July 16, 2016 were 11, 17, 40, 50, and 62, with Powerball number 26. The Power Play number was 2.
Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 4 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Colorado, 1 from Iowa, 1 from Pennsylvania, and 1 from Virginia.
Only one of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option — the ticket sold in Iowa. Because that ticket was purchased with the Power Play option, their second-prize win is automatically doubled to $2 million.
Power Play is not available in California, because the fixed nature of the prize increase offered in Power Play is not compatible with California's pari-mutuel payouts. 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.
21 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $50,000. Of those tickets, 4 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $100,000, and 2 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $35,359 this drawing.
Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $25.5 million from its previous amount of $335.5 million. The cash value was raised by $11.5 million from its previous amount of $238.8 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, 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 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 tied for the 17th-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.
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.
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 10th-largest cash value in U.S. history.
The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:
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