ORLANDO, Fla. - The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing has jumped by $50 million to $700 million, the second largest in the game’s history.
The current Powerball prize pool has been growing since June 10 -- meaning there have been 21 straight drawings with no winner.
Powerball has always been a tough ticket to win, but it became even more difficult recently, thanks to a rule change in October 2015 that tweaked the odds.
Chances of picking all six winning numbers stand at about one in 292 million.
That means you are actually more likely to be killed by an asteroid (1 in 700,000), be struck by lightning while drowning (1 in 183 million) or give birth to quadruplets (1 in 729,000).
The longer odds also made it more likely for the Powerball jackpots to grow to a gargantuan size before a winning ticket is sold.
A $1.6 billion grand prize claimed last year became (by far) the largest U.S. lottery prize ever. It was snagged by three winning tickets on January 13, 2016.
And there's been two other Powerball jackpots that have passed the $400 million mark so far in 2017. A $448 million prize was claimed in June and a $435 million jackpot was won in February.
While there was no jackpot winner in Saturday night’s drawing, Florida Powerball players won big, with more than 388,000 winning tickets totaling more than $5.1 million in prizes, including two $1 million winners in Ocoee and Orlando, respectively.
Jackpot prizes are paid in 30 annual installments or as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Winners have 180 days from the applicable drawing to claim their prize. To receive the cash option of an estimated $411.7 million, jackpot prizes must be claimed within 60 days of the drawing.
Players are encouraged to sign the back of their ticket at the time of purchase and keep them in a safe place. Players are reminded to check their tickets carefully; even if they don’t win the jackpot, they can still win cash prizes of up to $2 million.
Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing will be held at 10:59 p.m., directly before News 6 at 11 p.m.
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