Powerball Jackpot Rises To $208 Million Ahead Of September 19 Drawing — Feeling Lucky?

The Powerball jackpot is now $208 million, and lottery fever is sweeping the nation. With no winner in the last 12 drawings, the excitement over the possibility of becoming an instant multi-millionaire may make the jackpot rise even higher before the next drawing on Saturday, September 19.

While the $208 million is not the biggest jackpot in Powerball history, it’s enough to get people dreaming about what they would do with the money. According to Market Watch, the odds are 1 in 175 million that you will match the winning numbers drawn on Saturday night, but that won’t stop hundreds of thousands of people from buying a ticket.

If you’ve never played the Powerball lottery game, you may be wondering where to buy a ticket, what time the drawing is, and how much money you will get, after taxes are deducted, if you win. Here’s what you need to know:

Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tickets cost $2 each and players can pay an extra $1 for the Powerplay feature that will multiply the value of non-jackpot tickets up to 5x.

The Powerball drawings take place at 10:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Download the free LotteryHub app to watch the drawing live on your iPhone or Android device. According to the official Powerball website, most retailers stop selling tickets approximately one hour before the winning numbers are drawn.

How much money will you get if you win? Once Lottery officials verify your winning ticket, you will have to choose between a one-time lump-sum payment or a 30-year annuity.

According to USA Mega, the one-time payment would be based on the cash value of the jackpot—$131,300,000. Before a check is issued to the winner, federal taxes of approximately 25 percent ($32,825,000) would be deducted from the jackpot amount. If you live in a state that taxes lottery winnings, the state will also tax your windfall before you get paid.

According to the Tax Foundation, lottery players who live in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming do not pay tax on lottery prizes.

If your financial adviser suggests that you choose the 30-year annuity, you will receive 30 annual payments of approximately $6.9 million, with the first check issued shortly after you present your ticket at your state’s lottery headquarters.

If you beat the odds and win the $208 million Powerball jackpot on Saturday night, what will you do with the money?

[Image: Getty News/Justin Sullivan]