The Powerball jackpot has reached a dazzling $450 million, this being the fourth-highest prize in the game’s history, which began back in 1992.
The hugely popular lottery game, organized by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) currently challenges players to choose 5 winning numbers from a set of 69 white balls, and one winning number from a group of 26 red balls, known as Powerballs.
The one who matches all the numbers can receive a single payment of money, and enjoy this lump sump straight away, after all corresponding taxes have been deducted.
Alternatively, the winner can opt for getting possession of the jackpot gradually, over the course of 29 years, during which 30 annual payments will be made, the first of them occurring shortly officials have confirmed that the ticket is indeed the lucky one.
The likelihood of getting the right six-ball combination is of just 1 in 292.2 million, being much lower than the possibility of being struck by lighting (1 in 960,000).
In fact, chances of winning having decreased significantly since the game was altered on October 4, 2015, when the number of white balls rose from 59 to 69, while the number of Powerballs was diminished, from 35 to 26.
Before these changes were introduced, the possibility of hitting the jackpot had been of 1 in 175 million; and yet, although chances are even slimmer than before, players remain undeterred in their quest for the alluring prize.
The right mix hasn’t been found ever since November 7, despite the fact that 17 drawings have been carried out in the meantime, twice per week (on Wednesday and Saturday).
The current jackpot is now at $450 million (corresponding to $275.4 million in cash), which actually surpasses prior estimates made by Multi-State Lottery Association representatives by as much as $50 million.
The former prize, which nobody managed to seize on Saturday, January 2, had been of $334 million, so this is obviously a very significant upgrade, caused by an unprecedented surge in sales in recent days.
Even so, it’s not the largest prize ever obtained during a Powerball draw. That honor goes to the $590.5 million jackpot obtained by a Florida woman, back in May 2013.
Other more sizable winnings have occurred in November 2012 (580 million), and February 2015 ($564.1 million), but at the time the cash had to be divided between 2 and 3 players, respectively.
Given that Powerball organizers are now promising their 4th most significant grand prize, which is also the 6th highest ever disputed across the North American continent, it’s only natural that the jackpot has become hugely appealing
Countless people seeking to try their luck have rushed to buy $2 tickets for today’s draw, scheduled to be held at Florida Lottery’s studios from Tallahassee, starting from 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
For instance, as recounted by Michael Eka, a shop assistant at Max’s Food and Fuel in Phoenix, a total of 600 such life-changing cards have been purchased in just one business day. Numerous shoppers have attempted to maximize their chances by obtaining at least 10 such tickets, while a couple of players shelled out a staggering $500.
Those who haven’t yet sought to defeat the odds can still get a ticket, sales usually stopping 59 minutes ahead of the heavily anticipated draw.
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