The Powerball jackpot has now soared to an estimated $1.3 billion after nobody claimed the prize in Saturday's lotto drawing. Even though there were 14 $1 million Match 5 Powerball winners and two $2 million Match 5 Power Play winners, no one stepped up to claim the loot, which was estimated to be worth $949.8 million.
The winning numbers on Saturday night were 16, 19, 32, 34, and 57, and the Powerball was 13. In order to win the jackpot, all six numbers must be correct. They can be displayed in any order, but the sixth digit must be the Powerball number.According to nj.com, the Powerball drawing on both Wednesday and Saturday night will be the highest recorded jackpot in the United States. The estimated cash value currently sits at $806 million.The chances for winning the jackpot have gotten smaller since October, when the number of lottery players increased. Keep in mind that there is a 1 in 292.2 million chance in claiming the prize. This popular lottery game is currently played in 44 states, including the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Tickets cost $2--about the same amount as a gallon of gasoline.
Once you successfully manage to beat the odds and win, you have the option to be paid $1.3 billion through annual payments over 29 years, or you can collect the lump sum of $806 million. In order to avoid overspending or bad investments, the safest bet is to opt for the annuity option.
According to The USA Today, the largest estimated jackpot of $1.3 billion would be twice as large as the previous prize dated back to March 30, 2012 when Mega Millions paid out a large sum of $656 million to three lucky winners in the states of Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. The total would ultimately double the $590.5 million that Powerball paid on May 18, 2013 to a winner in the state of Florida.
10 highest jackpots in the United States
Courtesy: CBS News
1. $656.0 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (3 tickets from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)
2. $636 million, Mega Millions Dec 17, 2013, (2 tickets, from California and Georgia)
3. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (1 ticket from Florida)
4. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (2 tickets from Arizona and Missouri)
5. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb 11, 2015 - (3 tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)
6. $448.4 million, Powerball, Aug 7, 2013, (3 tickets, one from Minnesota and two from New Jersey)
7. $425.3 million, Powerball, Feb 19, 2014 - (1 ticket from California)
8. $414 million, Mega Millions, March 18, 2014, (2 tickets from Florida and Maryland)
9. $399.4 million, Powerball, Sept 18, 2013, (1 ticket from South Carolina)
10. $390.0 million, Mega Millions, March 6, 2007 (2 tickets from Georgia and New Jersey)
How the jackpot has grown since the last big winner
The jackpot was at $40 million on Nov. 4 and has been growing ever since. Since the payout is strictly based on sales, Powerball has grown quite tremendously as people are scurrying off to get their tickets. If businesses continue to have successful high-ticket sales, there is a better chance for someone to walk away as a lucky billionaire.
Gary Grief, who is the executive director of the Texas Lottery, told ABC News that he was rather surprised by the results of the Saturday night drawing. He also informed the television news station that 25 players won the $1 million prize and three others won the $2 million prize.
"If you don't play, you will not win," Grief advised.
The next Powerball drawing is slated to air next Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. Good luck everyone!
[Image by Joshua Lott /Getty Images]