The Powerball lottery jackpot continues to build, nearly matching the $225 million jackpot level attained by Mega Millions earlier this month before it was won by three tickets from California, Ohio, and Virginia.
Because no one correctly matched all six numbers the jackpot grew to an estimated $222 million for Wednesday night's drawing, with a cash option of $113 million.
It is the largest Powerball jackpot in more than a year. The last Powerball jackpot to reach this level was a $275 Million jackpot on March 15, 2008.
Even though the grand prize was not hit Saturday evening, 1,195,213 players across the nation won a total of $12,069,724 in prizes in "America's Game".
The numbers drawn Wednesday were 19, 23, 34, 52, 57 and the Powerball was 21. The Power Play multiplier was 5.
Eight lucky players correctly matched the first 5 numbers for a $200,000 prize: 3 from Florida (2 with Power Play), 1 from Kansas, 1 from Missouri, 2 from Pennsylvania, and 1 from Wisconsin.
The 3 tickets that were purchased with the Power Play option automatically had their winining tickets multiplied to $1 million each.
40 tickets matched 4 white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000.
Three of the winners of that prize category purchased the Power Play option that multiplied the win 5 times for a total of $50,000.
A total of 198,384 winning Powerball players multiplied their prize by 5 Saturday. They were able to do that by purchasing the Power Play option for one dollar. With Power Play you multiply any winnings from 2-5 times, except for the jackpot. At the beginning of each drawing that night's multiplier is selected by computer random number generator.
Players should carefully check their tickets after every draw. Even if there are no jackpot winners there are always tens of thousands of winners at other prize levels.
Players purchased $48,153,142 in Powerball and Power Play tickets between Thursday and Saturday night.
The lotteries sold more than $2.56 billion in Powerball tickets in FY08. That translates into more than $743 million for worthwhile state projects.
Powerball is now played in 30 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.