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Powerball Jackpot is 6th Largest in U.S. Lottery History

Are you going to play on Wednesday for a chance to win $400 million? Your odds are 1 in 175 million.

Powerball jackpot for Feb. 19 is $400 million.
Powerball jackpot for Feb. 19 is $400 million.

The Powerball jackpot is estimated to be $400 million when the next drawing is held on Wednesday, Feb. 19, with a $227.8 million one-time payout.

The total would give this drawing the sixth-highest annuity jackpot in American lottery history, which begs the question — which ones were bigger?

Philly.com lists the top 5 jackpots (annuitized):

  • $656 million (Mega Millions), March 30, 2012. Payout, $471 million to three winners.
  • $648 million (Mega Millions), Dec. 17, 2013. Payout, $347.6 million to two winners.
  • $590.5 million (Powerball), May 18, 2013. Payout, $370.9 million to one winner in Florida.
  • $587.5 million (Powerball), Nov. 28, 2012. Payout, $384.7 million to two winners.
  • $448.4 million (Powerball), Aug. 7, 2013. Payout, $258.2 million to three winners.

And in the true “you can’t win if you don’t play” spirit, Georgia residents have shared in three of the top 25 jackpots listed by Philly.com. That includes the Dec. 17, 2013, drawing shared by a Stone Mountain woman.

The state with the most winners in the top 25? New Jersey, with six (Georgia, Illinois and California are next at three each).

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Your odds of winning are about 1 in 175 million.

Looking for a place to play? Click here and type in your location.
Pete Turner February 18, 2014 at 05:32 AM
Here's some lottery advice I was given that may be useful: • DON'T have regular special numbers - they can soon become a millstone round your neck so you dare not ever forget to play them. • DON'T choose all birthday or calendar date numbers - millions of people do that and you'll probably have to share any win. • DON'T choose consecutive numbers (like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Amazingly, tens of thousands of people do this, so your win share could be very small. • DO consider quick picks (lucky dips) - many big winners have reported that their wins came from quick picks. For what it may be worth, I have my own little just-for-fun page which generates personal quick pick numbers. As I say, it is strictly just for fun, but you never know your luck! Look out for VillaLibra if you want to see if you can locate it.
susan wolcott February 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM
What is villalibra?
joe macksoud February 19, 2014 at 09:38 AM
Even with a jackpot of $400 million, the Powerball is still not an “even money bet”. An even money bet is like flipping a quarter: there is a 50-50 chance of winning a quarter for the quarter bet. Not so with the Megamillions or Powerball. The odds of winning are 175,000,000 to 1 for Powerball. So what does it take to become an even money bet? Well, let’s work backwards and assume Federal income taxes only and you buy your ticket in a state with no state income taxes. The highest Federal tax bracket is 39.6%. So $175 million ( the even money bet ) has to gross up to $292 million before taxes. To win $292,000,000, the jackpot has to be about $550,000,000 so that the cash lump sum would equal $292,000,000. Oh, and if you are thinking about “ buying the board” or buying every ticket? Spending $175,000,000 to buy all possible combinations will only work when the jackpot exceeds the $550,000,000 mark. So, as it stands, other than the fantasy value, you still are playing a “suckers bet” until the jackpot rolls over one or two more times and the jackpot exceeds $500 million. Am I buying a ticket tonight for the $400 Mil? Darn right! I did say there was a fantasy value didn’t I? “ The lottery is gambling for people who are bad at math”.
william savick February 19, 2014 at 07:24 PM
joe, your not "bad at math" if your the 'one' out of 175,000.000.

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