The Powerball numbers drawn on Wednesday, February 5, proved unlucky once again, as for the 12th straight drawing no one who bought a ticket in the 43 states where they are sold — plus the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands — took home what would have been a $215 million jackpot.
But that’s okay. It means the jackpot will be even bigger for Saturday’s Powerball numbers. To be exact, it will be $32 million bigger. Saturday’s Powerball numbers, for the fortunate player who hits all five plus the separate Powerball number, will be worth $247 million.
But just because no one won the big jackpot from last night’s numbers doesn’t mean there were no winners. In fact, there were 757,773 winners of some sort of prize. That total includes three brand new millionaires.
To find out if you were one of them, check your ticket against these Powerball numbers, drawn last night at 10:59 Eastern Time in Tallahassee, Florida:
8 — 17 — 32 — 57 — 59 with a Powerball number of 24.
One ticket buyer in Illinois and one in Minnesota matched those first five numbers, but not the Powerball number, to win a prize of $1 million. A ticket buyer in South Carolina also matched the first five numbers, but had the foresight to pay an extra buck — that is, buy a $3 ticket instead of a $2 ticket — thus activating the Power Play option.
So that person in South Carolina pockets a $2 million prize.
Throughout the country, there were 35 ticket buyers who matched four of the first five numbers plus the Powerball number. Of those, three used the Power play option, meaning they each take home $30,000. In all states except California, 26 of those winners earned a $10,000 payout, which is still nothing to sneeze at.
Because California pays out on a pari-mutuel system, the six “4+1″ Powerball ticket holders in that state took home “only” $7,725 each this time.
Saturday’s jackpot of $247 million is the amount paid out to winners who choose the annuity option, meaning that the prize will be paid in annual installments over the next 30 years. If you choose the “lump sum” option — which is automatically activated if you allow the computer to pick your numbers for you — the total immediate payout will be $142.5 million.
Still enough to live on, probably, even after federal taxes, which will reduce the prize for hitting all six Powerball numbers to a one-time $106.875 million payout. State taxes vary.