Powerball Winning Numbers October 3: $40 Million Jackpot Up For Grabs Saturday Night

What are the winning Powerball numbers for the October 3 drawing? Saturday night's jackpot is $40 million after one lucky lottery player won a whopping $310 million jackpot on September 30. Although tonight's top prize is a whole lot less than the last drawing, it's enough to make life a lot more comfortable.

Tonight's drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. ET. Download the free LotteryHub app for iPhone, iPad, or Android devices and watch the numbers drawn live right on your mobile phone or tablet. Ticket holders can also watch the drawing online on WRAL.

UPDATE: The winning Powerball numbers for October 3 are: 6, 26, 33, 44, 46 PB4. There were no winning tickets sold, so the jackpot rises to $50 million for the October 7 drawing.

One woman from Michigan reportedly won the entire $310 million jackpot on Wednesday night after almost two months with no winner. According to the Detroit Free Press, the lottery's newest mega-millionaire's name has yet to be released, but she is a supervisor at a manufacturing company in Three Rivers, Michigan. A representative for the company states that the woman left her third-shift job once she confirmed she had the winning ticket and "wasn't sure if she would be back for her next shift."

The winning ticket was sold at a Shell gas station in Three Rivers, with M Live reporting that the manager of the business said she knows who the winner is but did not reveal her name. She is described as a "younger woman and a regular customer." Powerball winners have one year to come forward with the winning ticket and current laws state that they have to reveal their identity.

Now that the frenzy over the big jackpot has passed for those of us who didn't win, the jackpot has been reduced to the minimum amount of $40 million for Saturday night's drawing. If you win and want to take it all in one lump sum, keep in mind that your check will be based on the cash value of the jackpot ($25.4 million) before federal and state taxes are deducted.Whether there is a winner tonight or not, it will be even harder to win the jackpot in the next Powerball drawing on October 7. USA Today reports that there will be more numbers to pick from (white balls) starting with the next drawing. The balls will be numbered 1 to 69, up from 59, making the odds increase from one-in-175 million to one-in-292 million.

The slimmed-down odds may lead to bigger jackpots in the future, with a chance that lottery players could see a billion-dollar jackpot as a result of the rule changes. After running some rather complex number simulations, Walt Hickey, who runs the blog Five Thirty Eight Economics, states that the new odds will create a much bigger chance of Powerball going more than 17 weeks without a winner — and that may be the key to pumping the jackpot up to a billion dollars.

"I ran 100,000 simulations of the next five years of drawings with the old and new odds, and I tallied the number of times there was at least one billion-dollar lottery in the five-year period," Hickey writes. "In each drawing, if someone won it would reset to $40 million, and if nobody won then it would climb to the next tier."

How did his number juggling turn out? In favor of a much bigger Powerball jackpot with the new one-in-292 million odds.

"In the end, 8.5 percent of the simulations with the old odds got a billion-dollar lottery, and 63.4 percent of the sims with the new odds did. If the people who run Powerball want larger jackpots, they're going to get them."
Powerball tickets are $2 each, and can be purchased at lottery retailers in 44 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]