$425 MILLION: Largest Powerball lottery jackpot in history
Powerball: $425 MILLION: Largest Powerball lottery jackpot in historyRating:
2nd largest jackpot the world has ever seen
By Todd Northrop
Let the frenzy begin.
For only the 2nd time in the history of United States lotteries — or in the history of lotteries around the world — a lottery jackpot run-up has exceeded $400 million.
It's a prize level never seen by the Powerball multi-state game, and only once seen by the rival Mega Millions game. And millions upon millions of people around the country will be lining up for their chance to claim the historic jackpot Wednesday evening.
The new high-water mark of $425 million for the current Powerball jackpot was achieved after no winning tickets were sold for Saturday night's $325 million grand prize. And if past ticket sales are any indication of what will happen this week, the jackpot may get bigger — much bigger — by the time the drawing kicks off.
The lump-sum cash payout value of Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is a staggering $278.3 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.
The cash payout value also sets a record for the largest ever offered by Powerball, and only second to Mega Million's record of $471 million, set on March 30, 2012. (See list of all-time record annuity and cash jackpots below.)
In January, Powerball's pricing and prize structure changed, with the game's organizers claiming that the changes would produce bigger jackpots more often — and they were right. Within the first year of the changes, Powerball produced three $300+ million jackpot run-ups, and the thrid one — this current jackpot run-up — has produced the first-ever $400+ million grand prize for Powerball.
Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs. In this case, it may be a lot higher, perhaps nearing the half-billion dollar mark.
The historic prize is the result of 15 consecutive draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $40 million prize on October 6, 2012.
The winning numbers for Saturday, November 24, 2012 were 22, 32, 37, 44, and 50, with Powerball number 34.
Even though nobody won the jackpot Satuday, 11 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Arizona, 1 from Florida, 2 from New Jersey, 3 from New York, 1 from Oregon, 1 from Texas, 1 from Virginia, and 1 from Wisconsin.
Of all the second-prize winners, only one of the tickets sold in New York was purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1. Because they purchased the Power Play, that particular ticket is now worth $2 million.
90 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 13 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $40,000.
Following the Wednesday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $100 million from its previous amount of $325 million. The cash value was raised by $65.5 million from its previous amount of $212.8 million.
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 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. 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
Saturday's Powerball jackpot currently stands as the 2nd-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States. The amount of the jackpot may rise before the drawing Saturday night, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.
If nobody wins Saturday, it's anyone's guess how high it will go.
- Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
- Powerball: $425 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
- Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
- Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
- Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
- The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
- Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
- Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
- Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
- Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
- The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
- Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
- Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
- Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
- Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 - West Virgina
- Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
- Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 - Indiana
- Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
- Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 - Massachusetts
- Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 - West Virgina
- Mega Millions: $275 million, Feb. 22, 2008 - Georgia
- Mega Millions: $270 million, Feb. 28, 2006 - Ohio
- Mega Millions: $266 million, May 4, 2010 - California
- Mega Millions: $265 million, Apr. 18, 2006 - Ohio
- Powerball: $261.6 million, Jun. 2, 2010 - Ohio
For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:
- Mega Millions: 12
- Powerball: 11
- The Big Game: 2
The Big Game is the original name of Mega Millions, from the game's first drawing on Sep. 6, 1996 through May 14, 2002. The name was changed to Mega Millions starting with the May 17, 2002 drawing.
Top 20 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. The new Powerball jackpot ranks as the 2nd-highest ever in the United States.
- Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
- Powerball: $278.3 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($425 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
- Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
- Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
- Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
- Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
- Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
- Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
- Mega Millions: $194.4. million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
- Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
- The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
- Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
- Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
- Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia
- Powerball: $166 million cash, Aug. 25, 2001 ($295 million annuity) - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
- Mega Millions: $165.2 million cash, May 4, 2010 ($266 million annuity) - California
- Powerball: $164.4 million cash, won Oct. 19, 2005 ($340 million annuity) - Oregon
- Mega Millions: $164 million cash, Feb. 28, 2006 ($270 million annuity) - Ohio
- Powerball: $161.5 million cash, July 29, 1998 ($295.7 million annuity) - Indiana
- Mega Millions: $156.1 million cash, Sept. 16, 2005 ($258 million annuity) - New Jersey
Lottery Post Staff
April 14, 2006
Mary mother of Jesus!
That money's gone fo ever
July 1, 2010
This has been an insane year for lottery jackpots. first the 656 million one in march and now this one..
February 6, 2012
October 7, 2009
Too bad I live 400 miles away from the nearest state.
October 12, 2011
The people running the Powerball might let it roll one more time to get bragging rights over Mega Millions and to make the $656 MM forgettable.
I'm sure by Wednesday this Jackpot will be well over 500 million, it would have been over that amount if POWERBALL increased their jackpots like Mega Millions and did not hold back their secret stash.
Anyway, game is on. Will be buying $10 for this game maybe a little more.
OHIO needs a PB win!!
February 17, 2012
This has been an insane year for lottery jackpots. first the 656 million one in march and now this one..
You can say that again!!
I'm happy for PowerBall, now it's their turn for the really really big prize
This just might get bigger than MegaMillions!!
December 13, 2003
I am buying my tickets early so I don't have to wait for others in line. Good luck to me!-weshar75
October 26, 2010
Well, I will surrender and play one ticket.
November 10, 2012
November 10, 2012
BTW...I have been a Member since June 2002 but recently had to change my password..I am still Libra 0926
November 5, 2005
I've said it hundreds of times, so why not once more?
What difference does it make if you win $40 million or $425 million? I suppose it would be great to keep a few million and start a charity with the rest, but I will never understand the buying frenzy that starts every time the jackpot gets to these astronomical levels. Only 1 person in the entire State of Florida got the 5 white balls, winning a million with a $2 ticket. That should tell you something about the odds of hitting all 5 numbers and the PB.
However, somebody's going to win the jackpot, so I wish everyone here a lot of luck!
Lake Katrine, NY
November 25, 2012
I'll get my usual one set of numbers for $2. I've always been baffled at why people spend "real" amounts of $$$, like $20 on 10 sets of numbers, when that's only covering 10 of more than 175 million combinations of numbers. Tonight on my one set, I got 2 of 6 numbers, and 2 others were 1 digit off. I know someone who spent $10 on 5 sets, and got only 1 number on 1 of the 5 sets. Plus I've been in past work lottery pools with anywhere from 50 - 100 sets of numbers, and typically that resulted in 3 or 4 lines being powerball or powerball plus 1 number, but they were always a far less payout than total money invested.
On the other hand, since there's no law that I know of, of how many times you can win the lottery, or how many tickets you can buy, here's my dream plan of being the first lottery winning billionaire. After winning this Wednesday, with the one time cash payout after taxes being almost 200 million, that would buy almost 100 million sets of different numbers, covering more than 50% of the possible combinations of numbers. In not long from now, with how often since 2012 with the changes that the powerball jackpot goes high, there's bound to be a cash payout soon (after taxes) of 250 million or higher. By winning that, it would increase my winnings from about 200 million into 250 million or more. Repeat that process a handful of times, and I'm a billionaire. Of course, I may the lose the 1 : 2 bet and leave myself with next to no money left, but those are <snip> good odds. Even better, nobody wins this Wednesday and the jackpot increases to a win of 350 million (or more) in one time cash payout. Then I'd have enough money to play every combination of numbers and be guaranteed to win the jackpot. The one issue there being not knowing if I'd be the sole winner, or have to split it 50/50 with one other person, or only get 33% with two other people, etc. I'd still do it though even if I were 1 of 3 winners. In that scenario, if the cash payout was 400 million, I'd wind up 50 million ahead if I were the only winner, or at "only" 133 million if I were 1 of 3 winners. Plus, since there's so much press and hounding of large lottery winners, I might as well go all out and be known as the biggest lottery winner who keeps betting all his money to keep winning more lotteries.