Powerball Jackpot Hits $1.3 Billion Prize, A New Lottery Record In The United States

The Powerball jackpot could hit $1.3 billion by the next drawing on Wednesday. Even though the potential lottery jackpot is massive, it is not a global record-setter just yet. The El Gordo lottery in Europe offered an even higher purse, $2.4 billion, in December. The odds of winning highest lottery prize ever awarded in the United States was is are about million to one.

The Powerball jackpot went unclaimed again on Saturday. The winning lottery numbers were 13, 16, 19, 32, 34, and 57, USA Today notes.

According to mathematics experts, your odds of winning do not really decrease as more billionaire hopefuls buy tickets for the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot. Southern Methodist University assistant math professor Scott Norris urged folks to allow the computer to select your lottery numbers to increase the slight chance of winning, MSN reports.

In an effort to increase their luck, some Powerball players are visiting multiple ticket-selling locations. Whether or not such a tactic will truly enhance the chances of winning won’t be known until the numbers are drawn on Wednesday evening.

The $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot will definitely make the winner rich, and the highly publicized massive prize amount has already garnered an influx of funds for convenience stores around the country. Bucky’s gas station manager Andrea Smith said that her Omaha store sold around $5,000 worth of Powerball tickets on Saturday alone. The Powerball lottery is currently played in a total of 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Because the prize has grown to a such an enormous amount, residents of states that do not have access to tickets are likely making the drive to participating stores in other states to grab some tickets.

The $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot is merely an estimate, and the winning amount could grow substantially higher as thousands of people rush to buy multiple tickets before the drawing. The highest lottery payout prior in the United States, prior to the ongoing pot, was in March 2012. The winning ticket holders from Maryland, Illinois, and Kansas earned a piece of the $656 million Mega Millions prize. In May 2013, one Florida ticket holder won $590.5 million after presenting the winning Powerball ticket.

And the giant jackpot is just what officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, were hoping for when they adjusted the odds last fall. (Previously, it was about one in 175 million.)

The whopping new jackpot started out November 4 at a mere $40 million. Drawing after drawing, there has been no winner — and the pot, which has rolled over 18 times, has swollen to eye-popping levels. A winner Saturday night would have been a record; the estimated pot for Wednesday’s drawing has blown past that. The previous record Powerball of $590.5 million was won by a single player in Florida in 2013.

The winner or winners of Powerball lotteries can elect to snag their money in a single lump sum payment or request to be paid in 30 annual installments. Opting for a massive lump sum payment can be very enticing, but the tax burden that comes along with collecting such a high amount of money all at once can be staggering. The estimated lump sum payment for the Wednesday drawing is about $800 million.

A $1.3 billion jackpot split out in 30 annual payments will still cause the winner or winners to be hit with a significant bill from Uncle Sam. Some financial experts are cautioning potential Powerball jackpot winners to choose the annual installments option to avoid losing the bulk of the prize on potentially disastrous financial investments.

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