The Powerball jackpot rose to $60 million for Saturday’s drawing after the nationwide lottery game went without a big winner for the third straight time. There have already been four Powerball jackpots won this year, after one ticket in Tennessee matched all six numbers on June 11, for a jackpot valued at $257 million.
But even though a pace of four Powerball winners in six months is not exceptional or odds-defying, lottery players may be growing somewhat weary as they wait for jackpots to hit stratospheric heights.
Ticket sales for the Wednesday Powerball drawing were the second-lowest for 20 months, since a drawing on October 10, 2012, 11,968,309 tickets.
That drawing was also a mid-week Powerball game. This time around, the Wednesday, June 18, game sold only 11,942,236.
The average number of tickets sold for each drawing in 2014 is just under 19 million, but of course that average includes the run-up to a huge Powerball jackpot — the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot ever — of $425.3 million on February 19. That drawing sold more than 91.5 million tickets, which raises the overall average somewhat.
But the lowest total since October 2012 came on April 30, for another $50 million jackpot. That drawing sold just 11,555,819 Powerball tickets. The last time a $50 million jackpot drew more than 15 million ticket sales was December 18 of last year, when 16.7 million tickets sold for a $50 million Powerball game.
There was just one second-prize “Match 5” winner in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, matching the first five numbers but not the PowerBall. That ticket was sold in Texas and did not carry the Power Play option, meaning that whoever holds that ticket will collect a cool $1 million payout, before taxes.
In addition, 19 tickets matched the Power Ball plus four of the first five numbers, good for the third-place Powerball payout. The standard amount, and the sum that will be collected by 15 of the “4+1” winners, is $10,000. But two of the third-prize winners purchased the Power Play option, meaning they paid $3 for their winning Powerball tickets instead of the usual $2.
Those Power Play winners will collect $20,000.
In California, the state’s pari-mutuel payout system can sometimes result in lower payouts than in other states, and sometimes in higher payouts. There is no Power Play option in California. Wednesday’s drawing proved lucky for the two California third-prize winners.
Under the pari-mutuel system, those two will receive prizes of $19,197 each.
Was your Powerball ticket worth any money? Check your numbers against the following combination, drawn at 10:59 pm in Tallahassee, Florida.
6 — 9 — 29 — 52 — 59 Powerball 7
The cash value of Saturday’s Powerball jackpot, to a winner who chooses to receive the money in one payment, will be $35.3 million.