Powerball Jackpot Soars to Record $1.4 Billion | NBC4 Washington

Powerball Jackpot Soars to Record $1.4 Billion

The next Powerball drawing is Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A Powerball lottery ticket is printed in Dallas, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Ticket sales for the multi-state Powerball lottery soared Saturday in the largest jackpot in U.S. history which grew to $900 million just hours before Saturday night's drawing.

    The ever-increasing Powerball jackpot has accumulated an astounding $1.4 billion. According to lottery officials, it is the world's largest prize pot.

    The cash value of the prize is $868 million before taxes, according to powerball.com and winners have 180 days from the drawing to claim their prize.

    Since Nov. 4, the Powerball jackpot has ballooned from its starting point of $40 million. Most of the gains came after last Wednesday's drawing when no one matched all six Powerball numbers for the $500 million jackpot. The U.S. saw sales of $277 million on Friday alone for the next drawing on Saturday, which reached $900 million amid a frenzy of purchases. No one won the big prize in that drawing, causing the pot to roll over and surpass the $1 billion mark.

    Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, hoped for such a large jackpot when they changed the odds of matching all the Powerball numbers from about one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million last fall. By making it harder to win a jackpot, the tougher odds made the ever-larger prizes inevitable.

    Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

    While that's the largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever, lotteries elsewhere in the world can be far bigger. Spain's massively popular Christmas lottery, known as "El Gordo," is ranked as the world's richest and last month showered 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) across the country in millions of prizes.

    As for the U.S., here's a look at the 10 previous highest jackpots and where the winners were from:

    1. $656.0 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (3 tickets from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)

    2. $636 million, Mega Millions Dec 17, 2013, (2 tickets, from California and Georgia)

    3. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (1 ticket from Florida)

    4. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (2 tickets from Arizona and Missouri)

    5. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb 11, 2015 - (3 tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)

    6. $448.4 million, Powerball, Aug 7, 2013, (3 tickets, one from Minnesota and two from New Jersey)

    7. $425.3 million, Powerball, Feb 19, 2014 - (1 ticket from California)

    8. $414 million, Mega Millions, March 18, 2014, (2 tickets from Florida and Maryland)

    9. $399.4 million, Powerball, Sept 18, 2013, (1 ticket from South Carolina)

    10. $390.0 million, Mega Millions, March 6, 2007 (2 tickets from Georgia and New Jersey)

     

     The Associated Press contributed to this report.