By Todd Northrop
There was no jackpot winner in the Wednesday night drawing of the multi-state Powerball game, causing the grand prize to increase to an estimated $290 million for Saturday's drawing.
Wednesday was the 11th consecutive drawing without a jackpot winner. The current jackpot run started June 26 as a $40 million jackpot.
The estimated cash value for the new jackpot is $168.4 Million. After-tax cash and annuity prize amounts are reported state-by-state 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.
Even though there were no jackpot winners, 7 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from California, 1 from Connecticut, 1 from Florida, 1 from New York, 1 from Oklahoma, 1 from Oregon, and 1 from Pennsylvania.
Two of the seven second-prize winners, from Oklahoma and Oregon, purchased the Power Play option for an extra $1. Because those two tickets were purchased with the Power Play option, they are now worth $2 million each.
The California second-prize winner will be awarded a whopping $3,095,357, 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. Because only one ticket won the second prize in California on Wednesday, that ticket was awarded the entire amount allotted for the second-prize level in the drawing.
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.
56 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 9 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $40,000, and 9 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $7,775 this drawing.
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.
The Powerball winning numbers for Wednesday, July 31, were 8, 24, 39, 49, and 59, with Powerball number 5.
Following the Wednesday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $55 million from its previous amount of $235 million. The cash value was raised by $31.9 million from its previous amount of $136.5 million.
The next Powerball drawing will take place Saturday evening at 10:59 pm EDT.
Powerball is now played in 43 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.
A 44th Powerball state will be added in early 2014, as the state of Wyoming has approved a new state lottery with the intention of joining Powerball and other multi-state lottery games. (See Wyoming officially becomes 44th state with a lottery, Lottery Post, Mar. 14, 2013.)
Powerball lottery results are published within minutes of the drawing at USA Mega.