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$800 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot approaches billion-dollar range

PowerballPowerball: $800 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot approaches billion-dollar range
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Cash value is a half-billion dollars

By Todd Northrop

This is the lottery jackpot every lottery player has been waiting for!

Reaching into uncharted stratospheric heights, the Saturday Powerball jackpot is by far the largest lottery jackpot the world has ever seen, and is now also the largest lump-sum cash jackpot in world history.

Just a day after the jackpot was raised to $700 million, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) has once again raised the official Powerball jackpot estimate for the Sat., Jan. 9, drawing to $800 million, with a lump-sum cash payout of $496 million.

And it may not stop there.

Players should watch for further jackpot increases before the Saturday drawing. Long lines of ticket buyers across the nation are generating lottery ticket sales at unprecedented levels. Players should avoid waiting until the last minute to buy their their tickets.

"Saturday's jackpot will be the largest jackpot of any U.S. lottery game on record. This is truly exciting and uncharted territory," said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and chair of the Powerball game group. "We want to remind players to play responsibly and that it only takes one ticket to win."

Saturday's jackpot started at $40 million on Nov. 7, 2015, and is the result of 18 drawings with no jackpot winner.

When nobody won the jackpot on Wednesday night, the initial estimate for Saturday's drawing was established at $675 million, setting the world record for a lottery jackpot. Less than 12 hours later, that estimate was raised to $700 million. And now, less than 24 hours after the last increase, MUSL has again raised the official estimate to $800 million.

The final jackpot tally will be announced during the live draw show on Saturday night, although it's still possible the official estimate will be increased again before then.

"This historic Powerball run has players across the country excited to join the fun, driving sales and the jackpot upward, all of which is a tremendous boost for the education programs funded by the Lottery," said Rebecca Hargrove, President and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery.

Although some lottery players (and some in the news media) believe Spain's El Gordo carries the largest lottery jackpot in the world, this is not the case. El Gordo, despite being termed a "lottery" is actually a raffle-style game, and the top prize is always divided between hundreds of winners. It is like a lottery scratch game in which is the total available prize pool of up to hundreds of millions of dollars is split between thousands of winners, and is not considered a "jackpot".

A jackpot is a large cash prize that accumulates until it is won, whereas a prize pool is the total value awarded to all players of a game. Thus, Powerball has the largest jackpot in world history, while El Gordo has the largest prize pool. Some may believe this is splitting hairs, but in the lottery industry it is an important distinction, and unfortunately one that the mainstream news media cares little to differentiate.

Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and roll until the jackpot is won. Players win the jackpot by matching five numbers from a field of 69 numbers and one Powerball number from a field of 26 numbers. Drawings are conducted each Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 pm Eastern Time.

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 largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States — and in the world.  The amount of the jackpot may rise even further before the drawing Saturday night, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales will certainly continue to push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

If nobody wins Saturday... well, let's not even go there.

  1. Powerball: $800 million, Jan. 9, 2016 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  2. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  3. Mega Millions: $648 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  4. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  5. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  6. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 7, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  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

For those keeping score, 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.

The new Powerball jackpot ranks as the largest lump-sum cash value jackpot in history.

  1. Powerball: $496 million cash, Jan. 9, 2016 ($800 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  2. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  3. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  4. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 7, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  5. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  6. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($648 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  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

Lottery Post Staff

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196 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by Dd2160.
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Germany
Member #164603
March 8, 2015
614 Posts
Online
Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:35 am - IP Logged

Magnificent.

    IPlayWeekly's avatar - avatarmoney
    Columbus, Ohio
    United States
    Member #128906
    June 5, 2012
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    Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:38 am - IP Logged

    Omg that's insane!  I'm in for 50 tickets,  work pool and yes we have document info and copies.

      joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

      United States
      Member #32537
      February 12, 2006
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      Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:40 am - IP Logged

      I said before: if this Powerball 3 day run has the same level of sales as the old world record Mega Millions had in 1 draw (the $656 million jackpot) We will be around:

      531,900,000 cash
      869,100,000 annunity 

      Seeing as it's very possible, we will reach that level of sales. How much higher it would go past that is  anyone's guess.

      No bees, no honey.

        BBLL's avatar - audi r8-wallpaper-bla
        Chicago
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        Member #122762
        February 7, 2012
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        Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:45 am - IP Logged

        Yesssssssssssssssss 800 million Party

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #149394
          November 30, 2013
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          Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:47 am - IP Logged

          It's all speculation but if it's increased $100M in the last day, $1B should easily be met with essentially 2 days left.  The momentum is only building faster.  It's like a stock going parabolic.

            Avatar
            New Member
            Toronto
            Canada
            Member #170682
            December 12, 2015
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            Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:48 am - IP Logged

            $800 Million That's great!

             

            "Anybody that wants to get mellow they can turn around and get the &^%*&^ out of here"

                                                                                                                                          Ted Nugent

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              Ringleader
              Michigan
              United States
              Member #81740
              October 28, 2009
              40571 Posts
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              Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:48 am - IP Logged

              HyperHyperHyperHyperThudMind blowing amount.

              Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

              For a lead role in a cage?

               

                                                          From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

                gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                ONEONTA,NEW YORK
                United States
                Member #30516
                January 17, 2006
                419 Posts
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                Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:48 am - IP Logged

                Wow..Holy cow  , thats alot of money..Would it be right to say it's going to be 900 Million on Saturday  ???PartyUS FlagParty

                  Avatar
                  ozone park
                  United States
                  Member #57042
                  December 15, 2007
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                  Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:50 am - IP Logged

                  Todd we have not reached the worlds largest jackpot yet 

                   

                   

                  Spain's Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad (Spanish Christmas Lottery) is generally considered to be the world's largest lottery with the largest first prize/jackpot. In 2012, the first prize was €720 million (US$941.8 million). The total prize pool in 2012 was €2.52 billion (US$3.297 billion).

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #171241
                    January 4, 2016
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                    Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:53 am - IP Logged

                    Wow..Holy cow  , thats alot of money..Would it be right to say it's going to be 900 Million on Saturday  ???PartyUS FlagParty

                    $900M for sure. This is ahead of my projections from earlier this week. Definitely will approach the billion dollar mark.

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      Toronto
                      Canada
                      Member #170682
                      December 12, 2015
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                      Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:57 am - IP Logged

                      the  lotter down for "maintenance". 

                       

                      Probably too much traffic!

                        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                        Chief Bottle Washer
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #1
                        May 31, 2000
                        23274 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: January 8, 2016, 11:57 am - IP Logged

                        Todd we have not reached the worlds largest jackpot yet 

                         

                         

                        Spain's Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad (Spanish Christmas Lottery) is generally considered to be the world's largest lottery with the largest first prize/jackpot. In 2012, the first prize was €720 million (US$941.8 million). The total prize pool in 2012 was €2.52 billion (US$3.297 billion).

                        You did not read the article.  You really should, because you are incorrect.

                        That article you linked even contains information that contradicts what you said:

                        As measured by the total prize payout, the Spanish Christmas Lottery is considered the biggest lottery worldwide.

                        "Total prize payout" is a prize pool, not a jackpot.  Even the top prize in El Gordo is a prize pool split by hundreds of people, not a jackpot.  And although El Gordo is commonly referred to as a "lottery", it is actually a raffle.

                         

                        Check the State Lottery Report Card
                        What grade did your lottery earn?

                         

                        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                          ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
                          Idaho
                          United States
                          Member #56506
                          November 21, 2007
                          6537 Posts
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                          Posted: January 8, 2016, 12:06 pm - IP Logged

                          This is crazy! Good luck to everyone playing. Jester

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

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #149394
                            November 30, 2013
                            36 Posts
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                            Posted: January 8, 2016, 12:07 pm - IP Logged

                            I also noticed the CV has now dropped to 62% of the annuity.  Last time I checked it was more like 64%+