The Powerball jackpot crept past the quarter-billion-dollar mark to $253 million after no players matched all six winning numbers in Wednesday night’s drawing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The jackpot has been growing since June, and a few more unclaimed wins could edge the game past the $300 million mark, which has only been seen once in almost five years. An Indiana resident won a $314.3 million Powerball jackpot on August 25, 2007. Prior to that, a West Virginia man named Andrew J. Whittaker Jr. won a $314.9 million jackpot on Christmas Day 2002, and opted for the lump sum option of $170,505,876.
The largest Powerball cash payout, and third-largest Powerball jackpot in history, went to a Rhode Island woman named Louise White on February 11, 2012. White claimed a $336.4 million jackpot and was awarded a cash payout of $210 million.
Several winners have come forward, but only for smaller prizes. Three $1 million Powerball tickets were sold at stores in New Hampshire, and 20 manufacturing workers in North Carolina also came forward to claim a $1 million prize in the August 4 drawing. The group, which calls itself “the Lotto Twenty,” each received $50,000, which came out to $34,000 after taxes.
Powerball originated as Lotto America in 1988, and changed its name to Powerball in April 1992. The lottery jackpot has been hit over 150 times by over 176 winners since then, with annuity and lump sum jackpot prizes totaling more than $5 billion. The largest Powerball jackpot in history was won February 2006, when eight Nebraska meat plant workers purchased a ticket that earned them $365 million.
How would you spend your earnings if you won the $253 Powerball jackpot?