Feb 19, 2017, 9:47 am
12th-largest cash value in US history
By Todd Northrop
This week Powerball is the hot ticket, featuring a lump-sum cash payout of nearly a quarter billion dollars.
The new high-water mark of $403 million for the current Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was achieved after no winning tickets were sold for Saturday night's $361 million grand prize.
The lump-sum cash payout value of Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is $243.9 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.
The largest Powerball jackpot ever awarded was on January 13, 2016, when three tickets from California, Florida, and Tennessee shared a $1.6 billion grand prize. The Florida and Tennessee winners claimed their prizes quickly, but the California winner waited about six months to claim their share.
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 $349 million, but by the time all the proceeds were counted just before draw-time, the jackpot had swelled to $361 million.
Wednesday's mammoth prize is the result of 18 consecutive draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $40 million prize on Dec. 21, 2016.
The winning numbers for Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 were 3, 7, 9, 31, and 33, with Powerball number 20. The Power Play number was 3.
Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 9 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Louisiana, 1 from Maryland, 1 from New Jersey, 1 from New York, 2 from Pennsylvania, 1 from Rhode Island, and 2 from Texas.
Three of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option — one of the tickets sold in Pennsylvania, the ticket sold in Rhode Island, and one of the tickets sold in Texas. Those three lucky ticket-holders will have their prize 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.
The California prize pool for second prize was $402,218 this drawing, which would have been split by any players matching all five numbers in that state. Now that prize money will be rolled into the prize pool for the California second prize next drawing.
58 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $50,000. Of those tickets, 3 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $150,000, and 7 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $14,709 this drawing.
Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $42 million from its previous amount of $361 million. The cash value was raised by $23.5 million from its previous amount of $220.4 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, second-prize winners have their prizes automatically doubled to $2 million, while all other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by the Power Play number drawn that evening. All prize payout amounts, including Power Play multipied prizes, 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 14th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States. That position may rise before the drawing, 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.
The upcoming Powerball jackpot ranks as the 12th-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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