The Powerball jackpot for Saturday, February 15, will rank as the 10th-largest prize in the 22-year history of the game, as no one matched all six winning numbers in last night’s drawing.
Saturday’s jackpot will start at $330 million, still more than $260 million short of the Powerball record. The largest prize in Powerball history, $590.5 million, was won in the May 18 drawing last year.
That $330 million jackpot, of course, is the sum paid out on an annuity basis. In this case that means the winner, if there is one, would receive annual payments averaging $11 million for the next 30 years, including this one.
But for those who play Quick Pick, or who choose the lump-sum option, Saturday’s jackpot will be “only” $189 million — which will actually come to a ho-hum $141.75 million after the IRS claims its share. Because yes, the federal government is a big winner in every Powerball jackpot.
Just because you didn’t win the big prize last night, which would have been a $284 million jackpot, don’t despair. There were eight players who won a significant sum by matching the first five numbers, but not the Powerball number. Maybe you’re one of those. Check your tickets against the following numbers, picked randomly last night at 10:59 pm in Tallahassee, Florida:
36 — 44 — 49 — 52 — 57 Powerball number — 1
Two Pennsylvania Powerball players matched the first five numbers, winning $1 million each. Other instant millionaires were made in New York, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and Florida.
There was also a five-number winning ticket sold at an A1 Mart store in Sacramento, California. But because California pays all major prizes except the big jackpot on a pari-mutuel system, that ticket was worth a bit less: $723,452 to be exact.
California also had seven tickets match four numbers plus the Powerball number. The odds against that happening are 649,000 to one — but those winners in California collect only $8,207 for their troubles.
In the rest of the country, third-prize is worth $10,000 — or $20,000 if a player has paid an extra buck to activate the Power Play option. In the other 44 Powerball jurisdictions, 35 people won the third prize, with three of those doubling their money via Power Play.
Last night was the 14th consecutive drawing without a Powerball jackpot winner.