Powerball Jackpot Is Now a Record

Drawing Saturday night will be for $1.6B
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2022 7:52 AM CDT
Updated Nov 4, 2022 12:38 PM CDT
Powerball Jackpot Approaching a Record
People wait in line outside Bluebird Liquor to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
UPDATE Nov 4, 2022 12:38 PM CDT

The Powerball jackpot is now a mind-boggling $1.6 billion, which the AP notes is the biggest lottery prize ever. The next drawing is Saturday night. For the record, a lucky winner who opts for the cash payout would get about $782 million. Also for the record, your odds of winning the big jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

Nov 3, 2022 7:52 AM CDT

For the 39th time in a row, nobody had all six numbers in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, meaning the $1.2 billion jackpot has now swelled to around $1.5 billion—closing on the record for any American lottery jackpot. The numbers that would have made somebody a billionaire Wednesday were 2-11-22-35-60 and the Powerball was 23, per CNN. A $1.5 billion jackpot in Saturday's drawing would the third-largest in US history, CBS reports. The US—and world—record was set with a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot shared by three winners in 2016. In 2018, a single winner in South Carolina hit a $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The Saturday jackpot could still swell to record size.

Mark William Bracken at the Massachusetts State Lottery tells NBC Boston that changes to the "matrix"—the configuration of how many numbers are needed for payouts—have led to bigger jackpots in recent years. "(There were) some matrix changes five and six years ago for both Powerball and Mega Millions," Bracken says. "That kind of expanded the odds of hitting, so the odds got harder to hit the jackpot, but it greatly improved the odds of people winning lower tier prizes." The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. The AP notes that most winners opt for a lump sum instead of an annuity paid out over 29 years. For Saturday's jackpot, the lump sum would be around $745 million. (More Powerball stories.)

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