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$450 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot nears record

PowerballPowerball: $450 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot nears record
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5th-largest US jackpot ever; 5th-largest cash value

By Todd Northrop

Mega jackpots are back!

2014 came and went as a year devoid of frenzy-inducing lottery jackpots, but 2015 is shaping up to be jackpot-chasers' dream.

Between now and Wednesday evening, anyone can walk into a store and buy a lottery ticket for a couple of bucks that has the potential of winning around a half-billion dollars.

An estimated $450 million, to put a finer point on it — but even that amount is likely to be far-exceeded by the time the Powerball drawing kicks off Wednesday evening.

That's because lotteries typically are very conservative in their initial jackpot estimates. But like we saw with Saturday's Powerball drawing, the initial estimate Thursday morning was $360 million, which grew to $380 million by Friday afternoon, and finally to $394.5 million by draw time Saturday night.

Seasoned lottery players keep an eye on the lump-sum cash value of the jackpot, and the initial estimate is just as eye-popping: $304.1 million. And likely to grow even bigger before Wednesday.

When compared against all lottery drawings conducted in United States lottery history, Wednesday's Powerball jackpot ranks 5th all-time, and the cash value also ranks as number 5 among all cash values in history. (See the top 25 United States annuity and cash value jackpots below.)

Of course, the big winner (or winners) will have to pay taxes on their prize, so USA Mega has a handy Jackpot Analysis page available to calculate the federal and state taxes that would be withheld upon the award of your nice big jackpot.

This is the largest Powerball jackpot since — well, since the largest Powerball jackpot of all time was awarded in the May 18, 2013, drawing.  A single lottery ticket, purchased by Gloria MacKenzie of Zephyrhills, Florida, won the entire $590.5 million grand prize.  (See Winner of record $590.5 million Powerball lottery jackpot announced, Lottery Post, June 5, 2013).

Wednesday's mammoth jackpot is the result of 20 consecutive draws without a winner.  The run-up started as a $40 million prize on December 3, 2014.

The winning numbers for Saturday, February 7, 2015 were 5, 10, 21, 34, and 58, with Powerball number 33.  The Power Play number was 5.

Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 11 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 2 from California, 2 from Florida, 1 from Louisiana, 1 from Massachusetts, 1 from Missouri, 2 from New York, 1 from Ohio, and 1 from Texas.

The two California second-prize winners each will be awarded $1,388,464, 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.

Only one of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option — the ticket sold in Massachusetts.  Because that ticket was purchased with the Power Play option their second-prize win is 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.

101 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000.  Of those tickets, 11 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $50,000, and 10 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $13,056 this drawing.

Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $55.5 million from its previous amount of $394.5 million. The cash value was raised by $37.5 million from its previous amount of $266.6 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 played in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 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

Wednesday's Powerball jackpot currently stands as the 5th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States, and the 3rd-largest Powerball jackpot ever.  Brisk sales will almost certainly push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

If nobody wins Wednesday, it's anyone's guess how high it will go.

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Mega Millions: $648 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  3. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  4. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  5. Powerball: $450 million, Feb. 7, 2015 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  6. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  7. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  8. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  9. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  10. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  11. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  12. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  13. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  14. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  15. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  16. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  17. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  18. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  19. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  20. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  21. Mega Millions: $326 million, Nov. 4, 2014 - New York
  22. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  23. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  24. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 25, 2002 - West Virgina
  25. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana

The number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 13
  • Mega Millions: 10
  • 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 25 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.

Looking at the cash value, the upcoming Powerball jackpot ranks as the 5th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  1. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  3. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  4. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($648 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  5. Powerball: $304.1 million cash, Feb. 7, 2015 ($450 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  6. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  7. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  8. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  9. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland
  10. Powerball: $227.8 million cash, Feb. 19, 2014 ($425.3 million annuity) - California
  11. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  12. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  13. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  14. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  15. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  16. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  17. Mega Millions: $197.5 million cash, Nov. 4, 2014 ($326 million annuity) - New York
  18. Mega Millions: $194.4 million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  19. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  20. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  21. Mega Millions: $177.3 million cash, Jan. 16, 2015 ($270 million annuity) - Illinois
  22. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  23. Powerball: $170.5 million cash, Dec. 25, 2002 ($314.9 million annuity) - West Virginia
  24. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  25. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia

The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Mega Millions: 13
  • Powerball: 11
  • The Big Game: 1

Lottery Post Staff

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153 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by bern117.
Page 1 of 11
hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

United States
Member #52345
May 21, 2007
2659 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:23 am - IP Logged

               

well things just got interesting

    Avatar
    md
    United States
    Member #14047
    April 20, 2005
    579 Posts
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    Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:30 am - IP Logged

    A lot of lives will be changed by this, hopefully, a lot of good will be done. I suspect it will reach $475,000,000 by Wednesday..........

      Avatar
      New Member
      illinois
      United States
      Member #163465
      January 31, 2015
      14 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:31 am - IP Logged

      i cant believe nobodies nnumbers matched. i had two in a row and off two numbers by one each. today il buy 3 tickets and two mega millions. doesnt matter what the jackpot is(: 

      how many tickets are you going to buy? so many people are going play im just putting 6 dollars

        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
        Oklahoma
        United States
        Member #82391
        November 12, 2009
        6290 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:42 am - IP Logged

        $450 million Woo Hoo  Banana White Bounce Dance

        I Love Pink & Green 1908

          Avatar
          Republic of Texas
          United States
          Member #57557
          January 9, 2008
          1095 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:51 am - IP Logged

          PartyWhite BounceDanceHyperBananaParty

           

          JACKPOT FEVER!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

           

          Dang, when I finally went to bed last night, it was some winner in Brooklyn NY.

           

          Come on Powerball! Wooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

          face

          singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163189
            January 22, 2015
            678 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:52 am - IP Logged

            Let's not forget Puerto Rico is in the mix now too, good luck everyone!!

              alekk's avatar - nw rgreen.jpg
              Michigan
              United States
              Member #144140
              June 25, 2013
              133 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:55 am - IP Logged

              oh man, had all the six numbers but on different tickets!!! Puke

               

              so close!! cant believe no one won it

                Avatar
                Maryland
                United States
                Member #162434
                January 2, 2015
                894 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:55 am - IP Logged

                The Jackpot analysis is really COOL!!! I already knew that Maryland was crazy in taxes from the people I know/work with but this chart PROVES it

                If I hit in Delaware my cash prize is - $228,075,000 due to no state taxes on it!

                Maryland appears to be tied with NY for the LOWEST - $ 201,466,250

                so 28 mil more for me!! LOL! Green laugh

                  Avatar
                  Simpsonville
                  United States
                  Member #163189
                  January 22, 2015
                  678 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 8, 2015, 7:58 am - IP Logged

                  I can see the coffers from Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah leaving to border states to play the lottery.  Didn't include the other two holdouts for obvious reasons...where could Hawaiian or Alaskan residents drive to?  lol

                    Erzulieredeyes's avatar - spider miss.png
                    Painesville, Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #117718
                    October 12, 2011
                    215 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 8, 2015, 8:15 am - IP Logged

                    The Jackpot analysis is really COOL!!! I already knew that Maryland was crazy in taxes from the people I know/work with but this chart PROVES it

                    If I hit in Delaware my cash prize is - $228,075,000 due to no state taxes on it!

                    Maryland appears to be tied with NY for the LOWEST - $ 201,466,250

                    so 28 mil more for me!! LOL! Green laugh

                    Must be nice not to have State taxes taken out of the lottery win. With the extra $28 million left over, I'd go out and purchase my first starter house for $28Million ! LO L

                     

                    J/K (Maybe). Big Smile

                     

                    I'd like to think I would stay within $500,000-$2M max range at tops when I win. But I am sure I will exceed that easily with more than $200M in the bank.  :)

                      mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
                      JACKPOT HUNTER

                      United States
                      Member #141034
                      April 2, 2013
                      1410 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: February 8, 2015, 8:29 am - IP Logged

                      11 millionaires were created this draw. What more can you ask for?. Maybe 20 millionaires next draw, including me as one of the winners. Let the fun begin!!!. Guitar

                      Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                      Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                        tgstx2's avatar - boLGn5q
                        New Member
                        DFW - Texas
                        United States
                        Member #163357
                        January 28, 2015
                        23 Posts
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                        Posted: February 8, 2015, 8:33 am - IP Logged

                        One of the 5 out of 5 winners came from a quick pick of a store right down the road that I use to go to all the time before starting to play the lotto. I guess I need to start going there and tap into that luck well =D

                          hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

                          United States
                          Member #52345
                          May 21, 2007
                          2659 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 8, 2015, 8:41 am - IP Logged

                          PartyWhite BounceDanceHyperBananaParty

                           

                          JACKPOT FEVER!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

                           

                          Dang, when I finally went to bed last night, it was some winner in Brooklyn NY.

                           

                          Come on Powerball! Wooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

                          Green laughlooks like someone got into Miss Annie's cat nipp stash again

                            CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
                            TX
                            United States
                            Member #121193
                            January 4, 2012
                            1637 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 8, 2015, 8:43 am - IP Logged

                            The Jackpot analysis is really COOL!!! I already knew that Maryland was crazy in taxes from the people I know/work with but this chart PROVES it

                            If I hit in Delaware my cash prize is - $228,075,000 due to no state taxes on it!

                            Maryland appears to be tied with NY for the LOWEST - $ 201,466,250

                            so 28 mil more for me!! LOL! Green laugh

                            DE..... Don't to forget the tax taxes taken(25%) out are not the taxes you will owe in full. If the $304 million cash offer is taken, your Fed income tax rate is at 39.6%. That will leave you around $183 Mil & change if you live in a non income tax state(like TX). Course, you get to take any deductions to offset it...
                            Still not a bad haul on a $2 investment !!!