Now 5th-largest cash value in 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 Wednesday's drawing to $360 million.
The all-important lump-sum cash value of the jackpot has been raised to $229.2 million — now the 5th-largest cash jackpot ever offered in a United States lottery.
"This jackpot has started a buzz across New Mexico and it's bringing out a flood of people hoping to win big," said Tom Romero, New Mexico Lottery CEO. "We might see ticket sales push the jackpot to an even higher sum before Wednesday night's drawing."
Lottery players seeking to check the winning numbers Wednesday 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.
Tickets will remain on sale typically until 10:45 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, 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.
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.
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