Lottery players will have not one but two nine-figure jackpots to play for this week, as the Powerball lottery saw its seventh straight drawing without a winner Saturday, sending the top prize in that nationwide lottery game to $110 million.
At the same time, the other 44-state lottery, Mega Millions, offers a whopping $200 million jackpot that could be given away in Tuesday’s upcoming drawing.
Saturday’s Powerball drawing, in which the jackpot was an even $100 million, marked the first time since May 20 that both multi-state lottery games, Powerball and Mega Millions, carried nine-figure jackpots at the same time. But a $149 million Mega Millions jackpot win ended that run of simultaneous $100 million-plus jackpots after just two drawings.
This time, Mega Millions has already gone without a jackpot winner for the last 16 drawings, pushing the jackpot sum to the $200 million plateau. Powerball jackpots rise faster than those in the Mega Millions game, because the minimum jackpot is $40 million compared to $15 million for Mega Millions — and ticket prices are $2 for a Powerball ticket, as opposed to just a single buck for a chance to win Mega Millions.
Mega Millions also carries much longer odds — though the chances of any single ticket winning either jackpot are incredibly small. Mega Millions carries odds of 258,890,000 to one against winning the jackpot. The chances of winning Powerball are better — in a very broad definition of “better” — at one in 175,223,510.
Saturday’s Powerball drawing sold 15,815,395 tickets, which was slightly more than the last time the Powerball jackpot stood at an even $100 million. That occurred in the September 3 drawing, when 15,356,358 tickets sold.
Of course, the advertised top jackpots for both lottery games — as in the case with most United States lottery games — reflect what is called the “annuity value” of the jackpots. In other words, if someone wins the $110 million Powerball jackpot on Wednesday, to collect the full $100 million that winner will need to take the prize in 30 annual payments, with each payment increasing in value.
But if the winner wants the entire prize up front, that person will have to settle for less money. The “cash value” of the October 22 Powerball lottery jackpot would be about $69.5 million. That’s because lottery jackpots are financed by bonds which take 30 years to reach their full value.
Lottery players won $5,961,181 in non-jackpot prizes Saturday. To see if any of that cash belongs to you, check your ticket against the following numbers, drawn at 10:59 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida.
20 — 26 — 27 — 36 — 54 Powerball 19
Lottery jackpot prizes are also subject to federal taxes, which come to about 25 percent. State taxes on lottery winnings very from state to state.