The Powerball jackpot leaped by $18 million after Wednesday’s numbers matched not one of the more than 15 million tickets sold for the drawing. The Saturday Powerball jackpot is now estimated at $132 million for a lucky player whose ticket matches the first five numbers plus the Power Ball.
But there were still plenty of winners in Wednesday’s Powerball game. The numbers created five new millionaires, as tickets sold in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Louisiana all matched the first five numbers, but not the decisive Power Ball number.
None of those five ticket buyers had activated the Power Play option by paying $3 for a Powerball ticket instead of just $2. If they had, their tickets would be worth $2 million. Instead, those five fortunate ticket holders will have to settle for a flat million-dollar check. Before taxes, of course.
After a week with both national lottery games sporting nine-figure jackpots, the Mega Millions game had a jackpot winner on Tuesday, leaving Powerball as the lone lottery offering a prize topping $100 million in drawings later this week.
Wednesday was the eighth straight Powerball drawing without a jackpot winner. Though Powerball actually has better odds of winning the jackpot that Mega Millions, the game has seen four jackpot winners in 2014, compared to five for Mega Millions.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175,223,510. Compare that to Mega Millions which as of last October, when the game added extra numbers in hopes of increasing jackpots, has odds of one in 258,890,000.
Even though Wednesday’s drawing offered a $114 million jackpot, ticket sales actually dipped from Saturday. The totals sales figure of 15,012,965 was down by more than 640,000.
There were also 17 third-prize winners in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing. Of those, three were forward-thinking enough to purchase the $3 Power Play tickets. Those three ticket holders are now $50,000 richer. Of the remaining ticket holders who matched four of the first five numbers plus the Power Ball, 10 will collect $10,000 before taxes, while four who bought their tickets in California take home a prize of just $5,749 under that state’s unique pari-mutuel payout system.
There were 444,616 Powerball tickets that earned some amount of prize money in Wednesday’s drawing. Yours could be one of them. Check your ticket against these numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Tallahassee, Florida:
4 — 20 — 34 — 39 — 58 Powerball 31
The Saturday Powerball jackpot is worth $78.7 million to a winner who chooses to take it as a single, cash payment.