Powerball jackpot up to $850 million after months...

Daily Mail Online
Powerball jackpot up to $850 million after months...
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How to play Powerball TONIGHT as jackpot soars to $850 million - ninth biggest prize in world history

An estimated $850 million Powerball jackpot will be up for grabs Wednesday night for players willing to risk a couple dollars and brave incredibly long odds.

The jackpot is the world's ninth-largest lottery prize of all time, behind earlier prizes in the Powerball and Mega Millions games that all topped $1 billion.

The jackpot has grown so large because there have been 29 consecutive drawings without a big winner, dating back to July 19.

The draw will take place at 10.59pm EST and will be broadcast live on TV and online.

Each ticket costs $2 and players must select five numbers between 1 and 69 for the white balls, then select one number between 1 and 26 for the red Powerball.

A person shows his scan card for their personal selection numbers for a ticket for a Powerball drawing on Nov. 7, 2022 in Renfrew, PA

 Biggest jackpots in US history

 1. $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 2022 (one ticket, in California)

2. $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, in California, Florida, Tennessee)

3. $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018 (one ticket, in South Carolina)

4. $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022 (one ticket, in Illinois)

5. $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021 (one ticket, in Michigan)

6. $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019 (one ticket, in Wisconsin)

7. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, in Massachusetts)

8. $731.1 million, Powerball, Jan. 20, 2021 (one ticket, in Maryland)

9. $699.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 4, 2021 (one ticket, in California)

10. $687.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 27, 2018 (two tickets, in Iowa and New York) 

To win the jackpot, players must correctly pick every number, however there are nine other ways to win which net lower prizes starting at $1 Million all the way down to $4. 

If nobody wins tonight then the jackpot will roll over to Saturday. Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Jackpot winners may choose to receive their prize as an annuity, paid in 30 graduated payments over 29 years, or a lump-sum payment. Both advertised prize options are prior to federal and jurisdictional taxes. 

Powerball's terrible odds of 1 in 292.2 million are designed to generate big jackpots, with prizes becoming ever larger as they repeatedly roll over when no one wins.

The largest jackpot was a $2.04 billion Powerball prize hit by a player in California in November 2022.

Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To compare the long-shot odds of winning the jackpot, the National Weather Service puts the odds of getting hit by lightning at 1 in 15,300. The odds of getting bitten by a shark are 1 in 3.7 million.

Still, the low odds haven't stopped players from purchasing the $2-ticket and dreaming of how their lives would change with a win.  

There were some big winners on Monday - with three tickets sold in Florida and one in Oregon matching five of the numbers to win $1 million prizes. 

Vinnie Clemente, right, buys Powerball tickets from Elias Harv at a gas station, on July 14, in Crystal, Minnesota

Lia Nower, a professor and the director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, previously said the lottery has historically acted as a regressive tax on the poor.

It means the people that can least afford to lose their money buy the most tickets.

She said her 'concern with lottery is really more people who are buying it every day or two or three times a week' as opposed to those who purchase one ticket as the jackpot nears $1 billion.

Although the game highlights the $850 million prize, that is for a winner who is paid through an annuity over 30 years

Winners almost always choose the cash payout option, which for the next drawing Wednesday night will be an estimated $390.4 million.

The giant jackpot would also be subject to federal taxes, and some states also tax lottery winnings.