The Powerball drawing for Saturday is now up to a $360 million jackpot, with a three-month streak of no grand prize winner pushing it to one of the largest drawings ever.
No one hit the Powerball winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing, pushing the total jackpot to $360 million from $317 million. Eight players did match the first five numbers (24 — 36 — 51 — 52 — 56), not one of them hit the Power Ball number of 22.
The winning tickets were sold in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Another winning ticket was sold in Pennsylvania, but the person who bought it was a bit more adventurous and spent an extra $1 on the Power Play option, meaning they will win $2 million before taxes.
The Powerball jackpot has now reached the largest total in nearly a year. Last February, northern California retiree Raymond Buxton bought a winning ticket at a gas station in Milpitas, California, winning on a $425 million jackpot.
The unsuccessful Powerball drawing on Wednesday means there has now been 19 straight drawings without a jackpot winner. But that’s exactly the intention of Powerball, which made changes back in 2012 to make jackpots bigger.
The changes included the following.
• Starting jackpot doubles from $20 million to $40 million.
• Jackpots increase by a minimum of $10 million with each roll.
• Odds of winning the jackpot will improve from 1 in 195.2 million to 1 in 175.2 million.
• Overall odds of winning will improve from 1 in 35 to 1 in 32.
• Match-5 prize will increase from $200,000 to $1 million.
• The Powerball-only prize will increase from $3 to $4
The Powerball drawing still has better odds than the competing lottery, Mega Millions. The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 175 million to one, while Mega Millions odds are about 259 million to one.
The next Powerball drawing will take place Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Anyone interested in watching the drawing live online can click here for instructions.