Big Prize Up for Grabs Saturday; Jackpot Has Been Growing Since Early February
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Powerball jackpot has reached an estimated $320 million for Saturday night's drawing after rolling for nearly two months without a winner. Lottery officials also say that the game has now created more than 500 millionaires since its 2012 redesign put in place new prize levels of $1 million and $2 million.
"When jackpots are on the rise, we see the pool of players in the game expand, with regular players and first-timers all buying tickets for their chance to become Powerball's next big winner," said Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich. "The jackpot seems to hit what we call a 'watercooler level' when it becomes that thing that everybody is talking about."
Norm Lingle, National Powerball Chair and the Executive Director of the South Dakota Lottery said that the game's bigger, faster-growing jackpots are a result of Powerball's redesign in January 2012.
"Last year, we promised a bigger and better Powerball, and we are delivering on that promise," Lingle said. "The new Powerball has allowed for bigger jackpots, better odds with more prizes being won, and it's created 539 new Powerball millionaires nationwide."
Powerball players win the jackpot by matching all six numbers in a drawing, but there are eight other prize levels in the game as well, ranging from $4 up to $1 million. In addition, the Power Play option gives players the chance to multiply any prize they win except the jackpot.
There have been 459 prizes of $1 million awarded in Powerball since the game's redesign. Players can double that prize to $2 million with the Power Play option, which costs an extra $1 per play. To date, 82 Powerball tickets have won $2 million. The jackpot also has been won 17 times since the game's redesign took effect. It was last won on Feb. 6 with a ticket purchased in Virginia.
Since its inception in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into the world's biggest and most recognized lottery game. Today it's played in 44 jurisdictions across the nation, with players buying $5 billion annually in Powerball tickets. The biggest jackpot in the game so far was a $587.5 million prize split in the drawing on Nov. 28 by two tickets in Arizona and Missouri.
About the Jackpot and Iowa's Winners
The Powerball jackpot starts at a guaranteed $40 million and grows from there until it's won. Jackpot winners in the game can choose to receive their prize as a one-time, lump-sum payment or in 30 annuitized payments over 30 years, with the annual payment increasing over time to accommodate for inflation. The cash option is a one-time, lump-sum payment equal to the cash in the Powerball jackpot prize pool from the sale of tickets across the country.
Here in Iowa, jackpot winners pay 25 percent federal withholding and 5 percent state withholding on their prize.
Eight lottery tickets sold in Iowa have won Powerball jackpots so far, including two in 2012. The largest Powerball jackpot won in Iowa to date came in June of last year. The Shipping 20, a group of co-workers from the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids, claimed that $241 million Powerball prize.
The 44 U.S. lotteries that sell Powerball tickets are: Arizona Lottery, Arkansas Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, D.C. Lottery & CGCB, Delaware State Lottery, Florida Lottery, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Hoosier Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Maine Lottery, Maryland Lott, Massachusetts Lottery, Michigan Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery Commission, New Jersey Lottery, New Mexico Lottery Authority, New York Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Ohio Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery, Texas Lottery, U.S. Virgin Islands Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Virginia Lottery, Washington Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery and the West Virginia Lottery.
Powerball® and Power Play® are registered trademarks of the Multi-State Lottery Association.