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$500 MILLION: Powerball jackpot explodes in ticket-buying frenzy

PowerballPowerball: $500 MILLION: Powerball jackpot explodes in ticket-buying frenzy
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Become a half-billionaire!

By Todd Northrop

For the second time in the last 24 hours, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) has raised the official Powerball lottery jackpot estimate for Wednesday's drawing when sales for the mega jackpot have vastly outstripped projections.

The all-important lump-sum cash value of the jackpot has been raised to a staggering $306 million.

The newly-increased annuity and cash value jackpot amounts both remain the 6th-largest ever recorded in United States lottery history. The top-25 annuity and cash value jackpots are listed below.

The Powerball drawing will be contacted Wednesday night at 10:59 pm Eastern Time (7:59 pm Pacific).  The mammoth grand prize started at $40 million on Nov. 7, 2015, and is the result of 17 drawings with no jackpot winner.

After the Saturday evening Powerball drawing, when it was determined that there were no jackpot winners, the new jackpot estimate for Wednesday was set at $400 million, with a cash value of $244.8 million. On Tuesday the lotteries raised the jackpot estimate to $450 million when it became clear that sales were outpacing expectations.  And now just a day later the lotteries have once again adjusted the jackpot skyward to $500 million.

By the time the drawing occurs tonight, the jackpot may be even further increased. The final jackpot tally will be announced during the live drawing show.

Lottery players seeking to check the winning numbers Wednesday night are urged to use USA Mega (www.usamega.com). State lottery Web sites are normally brought to a standstill during busy periods, while USA Mega normally remains responsive.

Powerball drawing results will be posted immediately after the 10:59 pm drawing at USA Mega. The number of winners and new jackpot will be announced after all participating Powerball states have reported their data, which normally occurs within a couple of hours after the drawing.

Tickets will remain on sale typically until 10:45 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, although players should check with a lottery retailer in their state for the exact sales cutoff time. Players are advised not to wait until the last minute.

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 292 million. The odds of winning any of the Powerball prizes are approximately 1 in 25.

Powerball tickets cost $2 each.

Lottery players can see an after-tax analysis of the current Powerball jackpot by visiting USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page.

Powerball features nine different prize levels, ranging from $4 all the way up to the jackpot. Players can win even if they just match one number — the Powerball number.

All states except California also offer the Power Play option for an extra $1 per ticket purchased. The Power Play multiplies any non-jackpot prizes won by the Power Play number drawn that evening.

Players who purchase the Power Play and win second prize will automatically have their prize increased by 2x to $2 million.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Wednesday's Powerball jackpot currently stands tied for the 6th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.  That position may rise again before the drawing, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

  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: $564.1 million, Feb. 7, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  6. Powerball: $500 million, Jan. 6, 2016 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  8. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  9. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  10. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  11. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  12. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  13. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  14. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  15. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  16. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  17. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  18. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  19. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  20. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  21. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  22. Mega Millions: $326 million, Nov. 4, 2014 - New York
  23. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  24. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  25. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 25, 2002 - West Virginia

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 6th-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: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 7, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  4. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  5. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($648 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  6. Powerball: $306 million cash, Jan. 6, 2016 ($500 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  8. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  9. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  10. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland
  11. Powerball: $227.8 million cash, Feb. 19, 2014 ($425.3 million annuity) - California
  12. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  13. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  14. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  15. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  16. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  17. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  18. Mega Millions: $197.5 million cash, Nov. 4, 2014 ($326 million annuity) - New York
  19. Powerball: $197.4 million cash, Sep. 30, 2015 ($310.5 million annuity) - Michigan
  20. Mega Millions: $194.4 million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  21. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  22. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  23. Mega Millions: $177.3 million cash, Jan. 16, 2015 ($270 million annuity) - Illinois
  24. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  25. Powerball: $170.5 million cash, Dec. 25, 2002 ($314.9 million annuity) - West Virginia

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

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

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86 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by LottoMetro.
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music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
Happy California
United States
Member #157856
August 2, 2014
1506 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 6, 2016, 12:19 pm - IP Logged

 I am not ashamed to admit, I am a little bit scared,"What if I really do win this by myself?". My life will have to change and I will experience culture shock. Going from poor to the uber elite. The one percent life.   How much security will my family and I need?

 Thankfully here in California, I will be able to decline the press interview and the grip & grin photo.

Party

 I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

 Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

    savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
    adelaide sa
    Australia
    Member #37136
    April 11, 2006
    3300 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 6, 2016, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

    wow i didnt expect my wish   on 450m pot , to keep on rolling, to be answered so soon,... keep on rollin baby

    2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

    keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
      Idaho
      United States
      Member #56506
      November 21, 2007
      6537 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 6, 2016, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

      Got my tickets for tonight's drawing. Smile

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

        United States
        Member #118609
        November 4, 2011
        931 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 6, 2016, 12:43 pm - IP Logged

        I agree Music, that is a scary amount to win.  For some reason I dont think it will be won tonite but I do have two tickets just in case Coffee ..... Let the insomnia begin!

        Good Luck everyone!

        PB has been on the national news before the jump to $500 million so it may be raised again before the drawing tonite?

          Avatar
          New Member
          Toronto
          Canada
          Member #170682
          December 12, 2015
          31 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 6, 2016, 12:45 pm - IP Logged

          Like many people I was not expecting another $50 million increase. 

           

          I would be curious to know how much the jackpot will be for Saturday's drawing if no one wins tonight?

           

          Anybody have any idea?

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #125918
            March 31, 2012
            362 Posts
            Online
            Posted: January 6, 2016, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

            Like many people I was not expecting another $50 million increase. 

             

            I would be curious to know how much the jackpot will be for Saturday's drawing if no one wins tonight?

             

            Anybody have any idea?

            If it is not won tonight it will be up to $725 Million is my guess for Sat...

              HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
              Idaho
              United States
              Member #94283
              July 17, 2010
              2284 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:04 pm - IP Logged

              If it is not won tonight it will be up to $725 Million is my guess for Sat...

              My guess is 800.  I hope it rolls so we can see who's right.  Jester Laugh

                MaximumMillions's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg

                Germany
                Member #164603
                March 8, 2015
                599 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:11 pm - IP Logged

                My guess is 800.  I hope it rolls so we can see who's right.  Jester Laugh

                As much as I want to win it and want other people to win it I also want to see it shatter any and all records.

                  Avatar
                  md
                  United States
                  Member #14047
                  April 20, 2005
                  579 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                  My guess is 800.  I hope it rolls so we can see who's right.  Jester Laugh

                  My guess is $755,000,000 on saturday, provided no one wins

                    BBLL's avatar - audi r8-wallpaper-bla
                    Chicago
                    United States
                    Member #122762
                    February 7, 2012
                    160 Posts
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                    Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

                    If it is not won tonight it will be up to $725 Million is my guess for Sat...

                    If there is a roll over tonight, we could easy see a billion dollars jackpot.

                      veganlife125's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #142777
                      May 18, 2013
                      263 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

                      If its not won tonight it will hit 1 billion for next Saturday's draw will all the press attention.

                      I don't want to see any "glee" posts either from the people that were against the odds moving from 1 in 175 million up to 1 in 192 million.  You can't have it both ways.  Since moving the odds up was such a rip off according to so many of the posters back when they instituted the change stay consistent and don't buy a ticket now.

                      As for me i was for an even bigger increase in the odds to 1 in 400 million which i think mega millions will have to do when powerball grabs the first billion pot.

                      At 1 in 400 million odds you could have 2 jackpot winners a year for about 4 billion a pot.

                      All we need now is for at least 4 of the 5 white balls #32 or higher to cancel out the "birthday crowd" and we might just get to the that billion pot next Saturday.  5 of 5 big numbers give us a great shot at it.

                      aught!Banana

                      Don't forget to visit the Lottery Post Gift Shop!

                        psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                        United States
                        Member #4877
                        May 30, 2004
                        5114 Posts
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                        Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:22 pm - IP Logged

                        Today's the dream day for all JACKPOT ticket buyers BUT, there is always BUTT out there somewhere and that

                        was Tuesday 1/5/2016 when we were chasing another DREAM and another BIG jackpot. Yes, Psyko was out

                        there swimming upstream with the many other FISH to promise LAND of MONEY and HONEY'$ and good TIMES!

                        NO, no one made the swim successfully and all were eaten by the BIG BAD BEARS with the exception of a few

                        who won low tier prizes again and again and did Psyko say again! Yes, I got a few more 1+1, 2+0, and 2+1 &

                        ALOTTO 0+0's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LUCK what is IT, think about it NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          "YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN NOW"

                          music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                          Happy California
                          United States
                          Member #157856
                          August 2, 2014
                          1506 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

                           A rollover to set records. Great idea. If I do not win. Cheers

                           I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                           Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

                            Avatar
                            Alpharetta, GA
                            United States
                            Member #169547
                            October 23, 2015
                            123 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 6, 2016, 1:56 pm - IP Logged

                            It doesn't need to rollover.... A half billion is perfectly fine with me.  Lol!!Heck I'd be pleased with a second place prize of a cool mill too :-). 

                            Good luck everyone!!!  I hope someone from LP wins this thing!!! :-)