The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $222 million for Wednesday’s drawing, bringing new attention to the record number of $200-plus million Powerball payouts that have hit in recent months. Tickets are sold in 43 states, Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands for the lottery which is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
If that isn’t enough action, the Mega Millions tickets are sold in 42 states, Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands, with drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays. There was no jackpot winner on Tueday night, so that lottery too will continue to grow from the current approximately $139 million jackpot.
In the interests of full disclosure, as a former professional gambler, I don’t play the lottery. It has become a matter of pride. I don’t play games where I can’t figure out a way to increase my chances of winning.
And, as far as I can figure, the lottery looks completely random. You pay your money and you take your chances like everybody else.
But I’ll freely admit that it looks tempting. The Powerball jackpots seem to keep on coming. According to reporter Peter Mucha, there have been a startling seven Powerball jackpots that paid out over $200 million since last May.
A few tweaks to the game helped fuel the bigger jackpots and create player interest. Tickets now cost $2 instead of the traditional buck, allowing the jackpots to grow bigger much faster.
A March 30 winner took home $50 million, yet the jackpot has already swelled to over $200 million less than two months later.
The last “big” winner was New Jersey’s Pedro Quezada who took down a $338 Powerball jackpot on March 23. The generous winner, who took a $211 million cash option instead of the full payout over 30 years, helped out his neighbors by paying their rent in celebration of his big payday.
And that’s one reason why people play Powerball, even though they know the odds aren’t in their favor.
“No one I ever care about will worry about money again if I win Powerball,” a New Orleans player explained when I asked him why he played.
However, he did have one tip about managing your gambling money wisely.
“I only buy one ticket,” he said. “If God wants me to win, that’s all He needs.”
Good luck to all players tonight. And if you do win the $222 million Powerball jackpot, remember to tip out the reporter who reminded you to play. Heh.
[stacks of money photo by puchan via Shutterstock]