Powerball is offering more of everything this week. More winners, more prizes being won; and starting Thursday, more people will be able to play America's favorite lottery game.
On Thursday morning, lottery players in North Dakota will be able to play Powerball for the first time. Including North Dakota, Powerball is now played in 25 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tennessee will begin selling Powerball tickets this summer.
There were no Powerball jackpot winners Wednesday but 289,503 players across the nation won a total of more than $2.2 million in prizes.
Because no one correctly matched all six numbers in Wednesday's drawing the jackpot will grow to an estimated $25 million.
The cash option for the Saturday, March 27 drawing will be an estimated $14.1 million.
The numbers drawn were: 18, 20, 39, 43, 47 and the Powerball was 31. The Power Play multiplier was 5.
One player correctly matched the 5 white numbers and won $100,000. The winning ticket was sold in Iowa. That player did not purchase the Power Play option. If they had, they would have multiplied their prize by 5 for a total win of $500,000.
Fourteen players matched 4 white numbers plus the Powerball and won $5,000. Three of those players purchased the Power Play option, giving them a total win of $25,000.
More than 39,000 winning Powerball players multiplied their prize by 5 Wednesday. They were able to do that by purchasing the Power Play option for one dollar. With Power Play you can multiply your winnings, except for the jackpot. At the beginning of each drawing a wheel is spun to select that night's multiplier.
Players should carefully check their tickets after every draw. Even if there are no jackpot winners there are always tens of thousands of winners at other prize levels. Players purchased more than 10.5 million tickets between Sunday and Wednesday night.
The lotteries sold more than $2 billion in Powerball tickets in 2003. That translates into more than $600 million for worthwhile state projects.