Each Powerball ticket costs $2, or $3 if you activate the Power Play option. But that aside, you’d have to spend over $350 million, picking a different combination of numbers on each ticket, to guarantee a winner.
With that out of the way, here are the February 8 winning Powerball numbers:
24 — 25 — 34 — 37 — 54 Powerball number: 29
Even though no one took home would would have been a $247 million prize last night, the drawing at 10:59 pm Eastern Time in Tallahassee, Florida, turned 10 Americans into overnight millionaires.
That’s how many tickets matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball number. Those 10 tickets were sold in eight states. California and New York had two $1 million prize winners each. Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virgina had one each.
There are 43 states, plus the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands, that sell Powerball lottery tickets. Wyoming will become the 44th Powerball state later this year after a bill passed its state legislature in 2013, allowing state lotteries in Wyoming which previously banned them, takes effect.
While Wednesday’s drawing features an enticing $284 million prize on the line, that total is the amount that will be paid out over 30 annual payments if the winner chooses the annuity option. Players who pick the lump sum cash payout — an option activated automatically for “quick pick” players who let the computer generate their numbers at random — would take home a single payment of “only” $162.7 million before taxes.
Uncle Sam would immediately take a $36,525,000 bite out of that pie, leaving the still-very-lucky winner with $109,575,000. State taxes vary, of course, but just to cite a couple of examples, a winner in Massachusetts would pay just over $7.3 million to the state, while winner in New York would owe almost $12.9 million.
The best states to win the lottery — in other words, the states that have no taxes on lottery winnings — are Tennessee, Texas, Washington, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida, California and New Hampshire.
So if you’re looking for a good strategy, travel to one of those nine states to play your Powerball numbers.