By Todd Northrop
There was no jackpot winner in the Saturday night drawing of the multi-state Powerball game, causing the grand prize to increase to an estimated $260 million for Wednesday's drawing.
Saturday was the 11th consecutive drawing without a jackpot winner. The current jackpot run started February 9 as a $40 million jackpot.
The estimated cash value for the new jackpot is $161.1 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.
This is the largest Powerball jackpot since the historic drawing on Nov. 28, 2012, when 2 tickets sold in Arizona and Missouri split the largest Powerball jackpot of all time. (See Record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot won by 2 tickets, Lottery Post, November 29, 2012).
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, 16 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Arizona, 1 from Colorado, 1 from Georgia, 3 from Illinois, 1 from Louisiana, 2 from Maryland, 1 from Missouri, 1 from New Jersey, 1 from New York, 1 from Texas, 1 from Virginia, 1 from Washington, D.C., and 1 from West Virginia.
Of all the second-prize winners, the ticket sold in Colorado and 2 of the tickets sold in Illinois were purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1. Because they purchased the Power Play, those 3 tickets are now worth $2 million.
58 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 7 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $40,000.
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 Saturday, March 16, were 3, 7, 21, 44, and 53, with Powerball number 16.
Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $44 million from its previous amount of $216 million. The cash value was raised by $28.3 million from its previous amount of $132.8 million.
The next Powerball drawing will take place Wednesday evening at 10:59 pm EDT.
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.
On April 8, California will join the Powerball game, becoming the 43rd state to play the game. After California joins the game, Powerball will be available for purchase in every U.S. state that operates a lottery.
A 44th Powerball state will be added some time in the next year, as the state of Wyoming has approved a new state lottery with the intention of joining Powerball and other multi-state 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.