Did anyone win Saturday’s $750 million Powerball drawing? If not, then America could have another billionaire sometime next week.
The October 27 Powerball drawing rose to $750 million thanks to a months-long streak with no jackpot winners. The prize was among the five largest in lottery history, though it was eclipsed by the consecutive billion-dollar Mega Millions drawings this week that culminated with a $1.5 billion winner on Tuesday. As Time noted, the largest jackpot of all time was a $1.586 billion prize back in January 2016.
It will likely be early on Sunday morning before Powerball announces if anyone won the $750 million prize and if not then the prize could approach the $1 billion mark again, as the unawarded prize money rolls over and excess ticket sales are added in.
The fact that three of the top six lottery drawings of all time have taken place within the span of about a week is not entirely a coincidence. Officials for both the Mega Millions and Powerball in recent years have changed the odds, making it more difficult to win by adding extra balls to the drawing. This also had the effect of making jackpots larger, with long losing streaks pushing the prizes toward $1 billion with greater frequency than before.
Lottery officials said these gigantic jackpots also attract more of the once-in-a-while ticket buyers, increasing the overall revenue for the game. That has been reflected in recent drawings. The site Lotto Report, which tracks ticket sales, noted that nearly 120 million tickets were sold for Wednesday’s $620 million drawing. Just a little more than a week before, the $314 million Powerball drawing attracted just 33 million ticket sales.
As CBS News noted, close to two-thirds of Americans play the lottery, generating nearly $73 billion in annual sales. That means the average American spends about $223 every year on lottery tickets. As the news outlet’s business analyst Jill Schlesinger explained, the majority of people realize that they will not beat the nearly impossible odds to win the prize, but like to dream about it anyway.
“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.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 28, 2018
Those looking to find out if someone won the $750 million Powerball drawing will likely have to wait just a little longer. Lottery officials are expected to announce by early Sunday morning if anyone matched all of the numbers or if the prize could continue to grow — possibly toward $1 billion again.