Oct 21, 2018, 10:16 am
More than $2.2 billion in multi-state jackpots can be won this week
By Todd Northrop
This will be a week talked about in the lottery industry for a long time.
Lottery players are dreaming about unimaginable wealth, lottery retailers are enjoying the prosperity of a huge uptick in store traffic, and state governments are rubbing their hands in anticipation of a revenue windfall.
Everyone knows about the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot that is being talked about around the world. But in its shadow the USA's other big multi-state game, Powerball, has been racking up huge increases, and is now simultaneously among the richest lottery jackpots of all time.
The combination of the two games, with drawings set for Tuesday and Wednesday, offers more than $2.2 billion in lottery jackpots that anyone can try their luck at for as little as $2 per game.
Last night, after nobody won the $476.7 million Powerball jackpot, lottery officials raised the estimate for the Wednesday drawing to $620 million — the 6th-largest lottery jackpot of all time. It is only the 6th time in history that a lottery jackpot has risen to more than $600 million.
The lump-sum cash value of the jackpot is just as eye-popping: $354.3 million. And likely to grow even bigger before Wednesday.
(See the top 25 United States annuity and cash value jackpots below.)
Of course, the big winner (or winners) will have to pay taxes on their prize, so USA Mega has a handy Powerball Jackpot Analysis page available to calculate the federal and state taxes that would be withheld upon the award of your nice big jackpot. A Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis is also available.
Players looking for a nearby lottery retailer — or that out-of-the-way retailer with a smaller line — are encouraged to use Lottery Places, an app for iOS, Android, and Windows that can locate the nearest lottery retailers in every jurisdiction that sells Powerball and Mega Millions. The helpful app can locate lottery stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, much of Canada, and the Caribbean.
Players outside the USA can use a reputable butler service, which provides scanned copies of the purchased lottery tickets securely held on behalf of the customer. In the past, the lottery ticket service was used by people out side the USA to win big jackpots in Oregon and Florida.
Whatever you do, don't wait. Lottery officials stress the importance of not waiting until the last minute to buy lottery tickets for either of these historic jackpots.
Wednesday's mammoth Powerball jackpot is the result of 20 consecutive draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $40 million prize on Aug. 15.
The winning numbers for Saturday, October 20, 2018 were 16, 54, 57, 62, and 69, with Powerball number 23. The Power Play number was 2.
Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 9 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Arizona, 1 from Connecticut, 1 from Florida, 1 from Indiana, 1 from Michigan, 1 from Missouri, 1 from New Jersey, 1 from Tennessee, and 1 from Washington.
Two of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option — the tickets sold in Florida and Tennessee. Because those tickets were purchased with the Power Play option their second-prize wins are 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.
104 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $50,000. Of those tickets, 17 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $100,000, and 13 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $17,044 this drawing.
Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised a whopping $143.3 million from its previous amount of $476.7 million and the cash value was raised by $81.9 million from its previous amount of $272.4 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, 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 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 6th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States, and the 6th-largest Powerball jackpot ever. The frenzy of lottery ticket sales this week will almost certainly push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.
For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:
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 9th-largest cash value in world history.
The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:
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