Did anyone win the big Powerball $470 million jackpot on Saturday? We’re just a few hours away from getting an answer.
The October 20 drawing was just shy of half a billion dollars. That is the result of a losing streak in the multi-state lottery dating back to August, when a Staten Island man took a prize worth a little more than $245 million. Saturday’s drawing drew huge interest across the country, but America will have to wait a little longer to find out if there’s a Powerball winner. The lottery traditionally announces by early the following morning if there is a winner or if the prize will continue to grow.
As CNN noted, Saturday’s drawing had a cash prize of roughly $270 million. Though Saturday’s Powerball jackpot was among some of the biggest of all time, it is still overshadowed by the massive $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize that will be drawn on Tuesday.
As the Chicago Tribune noted, the fact that there have been more and more gigantic prizes in recent years is by design. Both the Powerball and Mega Millions underwent rules changes in recent years that made it more difficult to win the jackpots.
Officials said that the “smaller” jackpots that normally only reached about $100 million were not enough to attract ticket buyers beyond those who played on a regular basis.
“Ultimately, these games, they’re all about the jackpots,” said Gordon Medenica, Maryland’s lottery and gaming director.
Odd of winning Mega Millions Lottery 1 in 259 Million. Odds of winning Powerball 1 in 292 Million. Odd of winning both, 1 in 75 Quadrillion. That’s 15 zeroes. 75,000,000,000,000,000 Allstate Data scientists did the math. @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/0cPt0xX0JE
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) October 18, 2018
The idea has certainly paid off, and CBS News reported that Americans spent $73 billion on lottery tickets last year, an average of $206.69 per person. As CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger noted, for most people, the lottery ticket represents a chance to dream.
“Our obsession with lotteries, with gambling, is that unicorn feeling of, like, ‘maybe it’ll be me,'” she said. “They just want to take a moment out of their day to consider how to dream big.”
The odds certainly back up her assertion that it’s more about dreaming than having legitimate hope to win. The odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292.2 million. It’s just a little better for the Mega Millions drawing: 1 in 258.9 million. As the report noted, you would be 25,000 times more likely to hit a hole-in-one than winning the Powerball jackpot.
Those looking to find out if there was a Powerball winner for the October 20 drawing can check back here. The story will be updated as soon as lottery officials make an announcement in the early morning hours on Sunday.