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$900 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot to create unimaginable wealth

PowerballPowerball: $900 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot to create unimaginable wealth
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Record Powerball jackpot could crown the first lottery billionaire

By Todd Northrop

For the third time in three days, the multi-state Powerball lottery jackpot has been raised to levels only dreamed about.

What if one person becomes a billionaire from a $2 lottery ticket?  That's certainly a potential scenario tonight, when the numbers are drawn for the biggest lottery jackpot the world has ever seen.

Powerball offers two jackpot payment options: the $900 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments; or the cash option, which is now estimated at $558 million.

And that may not be as big as it gets. We will only learn the final jackpot tally during the live draw show, which happens at 10:59 pm Eastern Time (7:59 pm Pacific) tonight.

Anyone looking to play Powerball in tonight's drawing and has not yet purchased their tickets should not hesitate to get to the store right away.

If you're not sure where to buy your tickets, head right over to the Lottery Places website to download the free app on your phone or Windows 8 or Windows 10 computer. Lottery Places is the only app on the market that will locate lottery retailers in every state and jurisdiction throughout the United States.

Due to the overwhelming demand to see the winning numbers tonight after the drawing, players are advised to first check USA Mega (www.usamega.com) because that website is more likely than most to be up and running. The crush of players checking their numbers all at once will completely disable most other websites.

"You can throw out the logic. You can throw out the statistics," Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, said Friday. "We've never seen jackpots like this. It's a new experience for all of us."

So many people were buying Powerball tickets in Iowa on Friday that lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said some stores were running out of paper for tickets, leaving lottery workers scrambling to resupply the outlets.

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. Less than 24 hours after that, MUSL again raised the official estimate to $800 million. And now, 24 hours later, they raised it once again to $900 million.

"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: $900 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: $558 million cash, Jan. 9, 2016 ($900 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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397 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by sirbrad.
Page 1 of 27
ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
Idaho
United States
Member #56506
November 21, 2007
6537 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:28 am - IP Logged

I have a feeling that the jackpot will be won tonight!

Party  Party   PartyParty  Party

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

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

    United States
    Member #32537
    February 12, 2006
    698 Posts
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    Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:28 am - IP Logged

    900 million............ oh my god,  it's getting so close to a billion!

    No bees, no honey.

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      Ringleader
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81740
      October 28, 2009
      40376 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:30 am - IP Logged

      Wink Maybe I'll get just a couple more.

      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"

        Avatar
        NEW YORK
        United States
        Member #90535
        April 29, 2010
        11978 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:38 am - IP Logged

        06-40-43-46-61 + 17
        01-02-24-30-55 + 04
        13-45-52-62-69 + 02
        09-47-62-64-67 + 02
        12-32-53-60-63 + 17
        10-20-21-54-66 + 20
        10-33-45-47-63 + 09
        08-16-25-39-50 + 22
        13-34-51-55-63 + 18
        09-28-38-43-57 + 14
        08-20-29-43-49 + 04
        20-27-30-38-61 + 02
        25-26-35-41-46 + 12
        02-04-26-29-41 + 07
        20-29-48-63-66 + 17
        13-39-41-64-69 + 17
        22-29-53-61-68 + 22
        10-19-36-43-48 + 01
        16-26-40-52-67 + 21
        09-30-37-39-60 + 07
        04-13-28-44-67 + 07
        05-07-17-27-41 + 20
        02-11-13-47-53 + 09
        31-47-50-53-66 + 11
        06-12-48-49-52 + 22
        14-18-21-39-40 + 12
        08-18-19-26-49 + 22
        04-14-35-40-60 + 14
        10-32-49-50-55 + 17
        05-21-23-68-69 + 12
        04-10-35-36-46 + 26
        01-30-40-50-61 + 20
        02-08-44-62-64 + 11
        21-26-31-44-64 + 17
        07-12-25-27-39 + 12
        02-14-32-53-57 + 02
        17-28-32-39-47 + 21
        01-16-35-39-45 + 10
        28-33-35-59-61 + 23
        14-27-40-55-66 + 01
        04-16-29-43-66 + 03
        11-19-45-51-69 + 01
        09-35-39-41-68 + 18
        03-32-54-60-63 + 21
        18-24-51-52-62 + 08
        10-16-37-46-48 + 15
        03-11-14-44-47 + 23
        02-40-42-56-69 + 20
        20-29-42-57-67 + 19
        08-24-33-42-56 + 03

        US Flag

        PLAY THE LOTTERY SOMEDAY-IT IS OKAY TO DREAM!

          Tami333's avatar - winifrid
          Michigan
          United States
          Member #139344
          February 20, 2013
          1141 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:40 am - IP Logged

          Wink Maybe I'll get just a couple more.

          Me too!  Just a few more. 

          Running out to buy an AED Defibrillator and place it next to me as I check my numbers, just in case.   

          Good Luck All!!!!!!!!!!!!  Blue Angel

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Bay Area - California
            United States
            Member #136477
            December 12, 2012
            4106 Posts
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            Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:41 am - IP Logged

            $900 million- that number is scary good.  Gonna be won by a LP member- just watch! 

            Dance

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              Poo Nanny's avatar - 2649029

              United States
              Member #125766
              March 30, 2012
              63 Posts
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              Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:51 am - IP Logged

              Its not going to roll over because I am taking this one tonight. However, let's hypotheticaly say it does roll over...could it reach 2 billion?

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                Ringleader
                Michigan
                United States
                Member #81740
                October 28, 2009
                40376 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:53 am - IP Logged

                Me too!  Just a few more. 

                Running out to buy an AED Defibrillator and place it next to me as I check my numbers, just in case.   

                Good Luck All!!!!!!!!!!!!  Blue Angel

                7 more days until my Birthday, what a great gift to me, lol Party

                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"

                  Artist77's avatar - batman14

                  United States
                  Member #121745
                  January 16, 2012
                  4786 Posts
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                  Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:56 am - IP Logged

                  Me too!  Just a few more. 

                  Running out to buy an AED Defibrillator and place it next to me as I check my numbers, just in case.   

                  Good Luck All!!!!!!!!!!!!  Blue Angel

                  Lol

                  J'aime La France.

                    BBLL's avatar - audi r8-wallpaper-bla
                    Chicago
                    United States
                    Member #122762
                    February 7, 2012
                    160 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:56 am - IP Logged

                    One ticket 

                    One winner

                     

                    Party

                      duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                      Jacksonville Florida
                      United States
                      Member #23018
                      October 6, 2005
                      915 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:58 am - IP Logged

                      With the high number of tickets sold, there will be at least one winner and probably more than one winner.

                      One more thing is also guaranteed: many lottery websites will be have very slow response or will be inaccessible tonight around 11pm to midnight or 1am EST

                        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                        United States
                        Member #72448
                        March 18, 2009
                        1228 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 9, 2016, 11:58 am - IP Logged

                        See Ya!Hi Todd, thanks for another great article! Incidentally, in third paragraph I noticed an error -- please remove the word "graduated." 

                        Kudos, I'm ready to claim this most exciting yet jackpot this week.

                        Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                        Disney

                          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                          Chief Bottle Washer
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #1
                          May 31, 2000
                          23260 Posts
                          Online
                          Posted: January 9, 2016, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

                          See Ya!Hi Todd, thanks for another great article! Incidentally, in third paragraph I noticed an error -- please remove the word "graduated." 

                          Kudos, I'm ready to claim this most exciting yet jackpot this week.

                          Why would I remove that word?  That's exactly how the payments are made.  They increase each year.

                          If you're weren't aware of that, go to the Jackpot Analysis page at USA Mega and click the Annuity Payment Schedule link next to your state.

                           

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

                           

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

                            hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

                            United States
                            Member #52345
                            May 21, 2007
                            2657 Posts
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                            Posted: January 9, 2016, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

                            specially if I get that single ticket winner