Powerball Mania Begins Again: Jackpot Reaches $348 Million Just Three Months After Record-Breaking $1.5 Billion Prize

Powerball mania may once again sweep the nation as the jackpot goes unmatched for 17 straight drawings. After Saturday night’s drawing, the Powerball jackpot was increased to $348 million. While the jackpot is dwarfed in comparison to the record-breaking $1.5 billion prize paid out less than four months ago, Powerball players are likely to flock to convenience stores participating in the multi-state lottery as the prize is slated to grow at an astonishing rate with more people taking a chance to win big.

KTLA reports that people hoping to join the Powerball craze can expect the prize to continue to grow as the jackpot can jump significantly in any given week depending on how many players buy-in for a chance to win the prize. Each time the prize increases, more players enter the game hoping to secure the growing jackpot. In fact, California Lottery officials noted that when the prize broke the previous record back in January, the Powerball jackpot climbed a whopping $1 billion over the course of a week after the jackpot hit the $300 million mark.

With the Powerball jackpot currently exceeding the magic $300 million mark, will players come out in droves once more to give the jackpot a big boost? It seems that a lot of people familiar with the Powerball think it is a very real possibility as the last time the Powerball made it to this point it began a nationwide frenzy that didn’t end until three winning tickets were sold in Chino Hills, California; Munford, Tennessee; and Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Interestingly, one of the jackpot winners from the record-breaking Powerball still hasn’t come forward. Lottery officials note that prize winners have one year to claim their prize before it is forfeited meaning that the Chino Hills winner, who has yet to come forward has until January of 2017 to claim the prize or the ticket worth hundreds of millions of dollars will become void. With the $1.5 billion jackpot split three ways, each winner walked away with a cool $528.8 million prize if taken in the form of a 30-year annuity.

Though the current jackpot stands at $348 million, it is reported that the majority of lottery winners opt for a lump sum payout which cuts their winnings significantly. In fact, using the record-breaking prize as an example, winners taking the 30-year annuity would receive a prize of $528.8 million. However, those wanting the lump sum in cash would only receive $310 million each. The amount would decrease by another 39.6 percent as the federal government would take 25 percent of the sum immediately and another 14.6 percent at income tax filing time. Therefore, winners taking a lump sum would actually, after taxes, bring in $187.2 million.

For the current jackpot standing at $348 million, the lump sum cash value would be $226.1 million if there was only one winner. After taxes that would be around $136.5 million. While the jackpot is likely to continue to grow, the chances of winning are still pretty slim. So what are your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot? According to lottery officials, individual tickets have only a 1 in 292 million chance of having the jackpot-winning six-digit combination.

For those hoping to play, the multi-state Powerball lottery is located in 44 States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The only states you can’t play are Nevada, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii.

Do you think a Powerball frenzy will begin now that the jackpot has exceeded $300 million? Will be see another billion dollar jackpot by the end of May?

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