Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited January 19, 2022, 11:02 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)


Jan 10, 2016, 1:32 am

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter

Initial estimate is $1.3 billion, but will undoubtedly go higher

By Todd Northrop

Is it even possible to imagine what it would be like to win more than $1 billion?

Millions of people around the nation will get the chance this Wednesday night, when Powerball is set to offer the largest lottery jackpot prize ever awarded in history.

The country came to a standstill Saturday night, as the Powerball lottery drew five numbers plus one Powerball number.  Those numbers were 16, 19, 32, 34, and 57, with Powerball number 13.

Amazingly, not one single ticket sold for Saturday's drawing matched all of the numbers drawn, so the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) has set the initial Powerball jackpot estimate for Wednesday to $1.3 billion.

Yes, that's billion, with a "B".

After the Saturday estimate was raised three times after it's initial estimate of $675 million, finally landing at $949.8 million by draw time, it is a sure-fire bet that Wednesday's jackpot will similarly spark so many ticket sales that MUSL will push up the estimate once or twice — or three times — before Wednesday.

At this point it's almost quaint to think of the previous world record set by Mega Millions in March, 2012, of $656 million.  That jackpot was won by three tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland.

The initial estimate for the lump-sum cash option for Wednesday's Powerball drawing is $806 million.  Again, this easily crushes the previous Mega Millions cash value record of $471 million.

Doubtless, there will be a rush of media pundits clamoring to cite the tiny chance each player has of winning.  There will probably be a thousand different analogies designed to explain how small the chances are.  Maybe this time the odds are actually better of getting struck by lightning while at the same time being eaten by a shark than it is to win the Powerball jackpot.

But no matter how hard they try to convince people to resist the urge to play, the pundits are up against a simple fact: there is enough money at stake to make even the most pessimistic person line up at the lottery ticket counter this week.

If you're not sure where to buy your tickets, or if you're traveling out of state to buy 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.

Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $350.2 million from its previous amount of $949.8 million. The cash value was raised by $217.1 million from its previous amount of $588.9 million.

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.

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. That was the case Saturday night, when USA Mega delivered the winning numbers to hundreds of thousands of lottery players immediately following the drawing.

Powerball drawing results will be posted immediately after the 10:59 pm Eastern Time drawing at USA Mega (8:59 pm Pacific Time). 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.

Players are advised not to wait until the last minute to buy their lottery tickets.  Sales will remain open until around 10:00 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, although players should check with a lottery retailer in their state for the exact sales cutoff time.

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 24.

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.

Powerball is now played in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, 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 largest lottery jackpot of all time worldwide.  The amount of the jackpot may rise even further before the drawing Wednesday 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.

  1. Powerball: $1.3 billion, Jan. 13, 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. 11, 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: $806 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.3 billion 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. 11, 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

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

567 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by AbsolutelyFun.
Page 1 of 38
mightwin's avatar - questns

United States
Member #103782
January 5, 2011
486 Posts

Like I said in the other post we have all been wanting this for years..... It's a perfect storm

    United States
    Member #122685
    February 6, 2012
    368 Posts

    Now you are really going to see ticket sales explode. Going to be at least $1.5 billion by drawing.

      DC81's avatar - batman39
      United States
      Member #54828
      August 31, 2007
      985 Posts

      I think the only words to describe this would be HOLY CRAP!

      It only took odds of 1 in 292M to make it.

      You can't predict random.

        LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
        United States
        Member #146338
        September 1, 2013
        1175 Posts

        I had 2 tickets in this draw, any more than that and would have felt foolish.

        Well, I will raise the limit to 10 for the next draw. And I am very confident that there will be one or more winners.


        If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
        If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

        P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

          Warren, MI
          United States
          Member #149992
          December 14, 2013
          42 Posts

          What were the odds of being no winner tonight? does anyone know?

            mightwin's avatar - questns

            United States
            Member #103782
            January 5, 2011
            486 Posts

            I wonder what they're going to do on the billboards because they only have three digits, for the millions.... Lol

              deeharveyd's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg
              New Member
              Austin, Tx
              United States
              Member #115924
              August 31, 2011
              12 Posts

              Wow...just Wow...Can't believe it.

                United States
                Member #167027
                June 22, 2015
                1340 Posts

                What were the odds of being no winner tonight? does anyone know?

                about 20%

                  Warren, MI
                  United States
                  Member #149992
                  December 14, 2013
                  42 Posts

                  Wow so all those sales and not all combinations were covered. Shows you how absurd the odds to win are.

                    United States
                    Member #167027
                    June 22, 2015
                    1340 Posts

                    Wow so all those sales and not all combinations were covered. Shows you how absurd the odds to win are.

                    yup about $900M in sales as well the next few days will be absolutely insane

                      Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

                      Member #133456
                      September 30, 2012
                      7012 Posts


                      "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."


                        United States
                        Member #168130
                        August 17, 2015
                        131 Posts

                        Have mercy, that's a lotta money!


                          Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                          Chief Bottle Washer
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #1
                          May 31, 2000
                          26586 Posts

                          LOL, Lottery Post was not built to handle jackpots greater than $1 billion.  It's showing up as $1300 million.  Guess I have some work to do! LOL


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


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

                            Rman313's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                            Inkster, MI
                            United States
                            Member #142366
                            May 10, 2013
                            6852 Posts

                            EekEekEek Thats a LOT a dough, OMG!!!!

                            You can do anything if you put your mind into it. The sky is the limit! Cool