By Todd Northrop
There was no jackpot winner in the Saturday night drawing of the multi-state Powerball lottery game, causing the grand prize to increase to an estimated $222 million for Wednesday's drawing.
Saturday was the 10th consecutive drawing without a jackpot winner. The jackpot run started April 3 as a $40 million jackpot.
The estimated cash value for the new jackpot is $144.5 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.
Although there were no jackpot winners Saturday, 4 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 2 from California, 1 from Maryland, and 1 from New York. The 2 California second-prize winners will each be awarded $917,856, 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.
None of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option. If they had, their second-prize win would have automatically doubled to $2 million. 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.
65 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, and 2 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $26,044 this drawing.
The Powerball winning numbers for Saturday, May 4, were 7, 12, 26, 36, and 40, with Powerball number 17.
Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $31 million from its previous amount of $191 million. The cash value was raised by $19.8 million from its previous amount of $124.7 million.
The next Powerball drawing will take place Wednesday night at 10:59 pm Eastern Time.
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 43 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.
The Powerball winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.