By Todd Northrop
There was no jackpot winner in the Wednesday drawing of the multi-state Powerball lottery game, causing the grand prize to increase to an estimated $203 million for Saturday's drawing.
Wednesday was the 12th consecutive drawing without a jackpot winner.
The estimated cash value for the new jackpot is $123.2 Million. After-tax cash and annuity prize amounts are reported state-by-state 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, 9 lucky tickets matched the first five numbers for a $200,000 second-place prize: 1 from Colorado, 1 from Florida, 1 from New Jersey, 1 from New York, 1 from Pennsylvania, 2 from Texas, 1 from Virginia, and 1 from West Virginia.
The ticket sold in Colorado was purchased with the Power Play option, multiplying the prize to a sizeable $1 million.
61 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 6 also were purchased with the Power Play option, multiplying the prize by 3 for a total cash prize of $30,000.
The Powerball winning numbers for Wednesday, October 26, were 1, 18, 21, 39, and 55, with Powerball number 6. The Power Play number was 3.
Saturday's drawing will be only the fourth time in the past year that players are vying for a $200 million+ jackpot. On Aug. 10, 2011, a Minnesota couple won a $228.9 million Powerball jackpot (see Minnesota couple claims $229M Powerball lottery jackpot, Lottery Post, Aug. 13, 2011.) Previous to that, on June 1, 2011, a group of 20 Costco workers from New York won $200 million prize, and on April 6, 2011, two men who worked together as welders in the small Southern Indiana town of Clarksville snagged a $221.7 million Powerball jackpot.
When a Powerball ticket is purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1 per ticket, any non-jackpot prize is multiplied from 2-5 times, depending on a computerized random number generated that evening. Second-place Power Play-enabled tickets matching five numbers but not the Powerball are always multiplied by 5 times, for a $1 million prize.
Powerball is now played in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Powerball lottery results are published within minutes of the drawing at USA Mega.