Watch live online Wednesday night to find out if you, yes you, win the largest Powerball prize in history — actually, the largest jackpot given away by any lottery game in history. The historic drawing will be presented in streaming video from the Powerball TV studios in Tallahassee, Florida, on January 13 staring at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 7:59 p.m. Pacific, when host Sam Arlen (pictured above) will announce the six numbers that pop up out of the lottery machines.
UPDATE, January 14: The final jackpot total in Wednesday’s all-time record Powerball drawing came to $1,586,400,000, and there was a reported total of 635,103,137 tickets sold for the historic drawing.
The winning numbers were 4 — 8 — 19 — 27 — 34 Power Ball 10.
Three tickets matched all six numbers, to win one-third each of the massive jackpot, or $528.8 million each. That total alone would be the sixth-largest United States lottery jackpot in history — and it was won three times in one drawing.
The winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.
An amazing 81 tickets matched the first five numbers but missed the Power Ball number. Of those tickets, 61 are worth an even $1 million. Another eight were purchased with the Power Play option activated, making them worth $2 million each.
In California where non-jackpot prizes are awarded on a pari-mutuel basis, there were 12 “Match Five” tickets sold, worth $638,146 each.
“It’s incredibly exciting,” the 32-year-old Arlen, who has hosted the Powerball drawing televised and live online since 2012, said in a interview with ABC News. “I feel just grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this certainly national, almost international, energy around this game.”
To find out how to watch the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing live online, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article.
Those six numbers will be worth up to $1.5 billion if there is, in fact, a single lucky — extremely lucky — winner. To put that number in perspective, the possible winner of the $1.5 billion Powerball will instantly become more than twice as rich as former Beatle Paul McCartney, whose legendary, 59-year music career has allowed him to accumulate an estimated net worth of $650 million.
Of course, even if there is a winner, and only one winner, of the mind-blowing jackpot in Wednesday night’s drawing, he or she won’t really pocket the full $1.5 billion. First of all, to receive the $1.5 billion — rather than the $930 million “cash value” — the winner would need to elect to receive the prize money in 30 annual payments that will grow each year.
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The first payment would be approximately $22,577,153, with the final payment, sent out in the year 2045, would total $92,930,622. And that’s before taxes. The 25 percent cut taken by Uncle Sam off the top would total more than $300 million over 30 years — not including state taxes or other income taxes, gift taxes, and the various other types of tax that federal, state, and local governments can think of.
Still, the take-home payout from the $1.5 billion Powerball would be staggering.
To get yourself ready to become a billionaire overnight, check out the following interview with billionaire Mark Cuban, who won a different kind of lottery back in 1999 when he and a business partner sold their internet start-up site Broadcast.com to Yahoo!, which was then the biggest site online, for $5.7 billion.
So the man knows a little something about the stresses and blessings of sudden wealth.
If there is a big Powerball winner Wednesday, America’s newest sort-of-billionaire will be confronted with a big decision right away. Namely, whether to take the money in the 30-year “annuity” as described above. Or to take the “cash value” as a single, lump-sum payment.
The $930 million cash value will actually be more in the neighborhood of $635 million after federal and state taxes come off the top. But there is a significant tax advantage to waiting 30 years to collect the full prize in single, annual payments, rather than going for the big bucks all at once.
“Taking the annuity is basically like letting the government hold onto part of your prize for a while and invest it for you — and the government does not pay tax on investment income,” wrote New York Times financial blogger Josh Barro on Tuesday. “But if you take the lump-sum cash prize, you’ll pay tax twice: on the prize when you win it, and on the income you get by investing it.”
Taking the 30-year payment plan will actually result in paying about 20 percent less tax on your Powerball winnings, according to Barro.
[Featured Photo via Florida Lottery Commission]