The Powerball jackpot reached is fourth-highest total since last September, after the 13th consecutive drawing without a winner sent the nationwide lottery’s top prize soaring to $256 million. Saturday’s drawing, with its estimated $221 million jackpot, also saw a spike in ticket sales as lottery-watchers begin to take notice of the fast-swelling jackpot.
In February, as the Powerball game saw a run-up to the staggering $425 million jackpot which was won on February 19, three Powerball drawings offered jackpots that exceeded $256 million. Other than those three, no Powerball jackpot has topped the current figure since September 18 of 2013, when a $400 million top prize was given away.
In fact, since November 28 of 2012, only 10 Powerball drawings have carried jackpots in excess of $256 million.
There were 28,625,977 Powerball tickets sold for Saturday’s drawing, up by more than 5 million from the previous Wednesday’s game, and the highest sales total since the February 19 drawing.
Only four other drawings this year have sold more tickets, and all of those came in the run-up to the February 19 jackpot, which was the fourth-largest prize in the history of the Powerball lottery.
Though no one won the jackpot on Saturday, four Powerball players matched the first five numbers, missing only the Power Ball, to take the game’s top consolation prize of $1 million.
Those four tickets were sold in Arizona, Maryland and Minnesota — where two lucky million dollar tickets were sold.
On top of those second-prize winners, 38 tickets were good for the Powerball lottery’s third-prize, matching four of the first five numbers plus the elusive Power Ball. Of those, 22 tickets are worth $10,000, but nine were purchased for an extra dollar, activating the Power Play option. That means those nine Powerball tickets can be redeemed for $20,000 each.
In California, where the state pays out all prizes other than the jackpot on a pari-mutuel basis, seven “4+1” winners will take home $7,146 apiece.
In total, 874,290 — or about three percent of all tickets sold — were good for at least some of the $9,173,236 won in Saturday’s Powerball drawing. Do you hold one of those winning tickets? Check your Powerball ticket against these numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Tallahassee, Florida:
28 — 30 — 35 — 58 — 59 Powerball 15
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot carries a cash value of $151.9 million, before taxes, to a winner who chooses to take the money in a single payment, rather than over 30 years.