Powerball Jackpot Hits a Staggering US$1.6 Billion



On Friday, a Powerball jackpot was estimated to be worth $1.6 billion, making it the highest lottery reward in history. The Powerball jackpot, which has not been won in more than three months, will be drawn Saturday night.

That streak of 39 consecutive drawings without a winner reflects the difficult chances of winning the jackpot, which is 1 in 292.2 million.

The advertised jackpot is the payout for a winner who selects an annuity, which is paid annually for the next 29 years. Almost all winners instead choose the cash reward, which is expected to be $782.4 million for Saturday night’s drawing.

The new jackpot surpasses the previous record reward of $1.586 billion, which was won by three Powerball players in California, Florida, and Tennessee in 2016.

Powerball is available in 45 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

History of Powerball

The Powerball Lottery began in 1988 as “Lotto America,” and the name was changed to Powerball Lottery in April 1992.

Powerball was the first lottery to use a two-drum mechanism. Steve Caputo, an Oregon Lottery employee, was the first to propose using a two-drum system to improve the lottery design and provide high odds for the top prize and low odds for minor lottery winners.

The Mega Millions Lottery opted to replicate a two-drum system after it became popular with lottery players. Other lotteries worldwide, notably the popular Euromillions Lottery, have adopted this effective strategy.

PowerPlay, another enhancement, was released in March 2001. For an additional $1, you can increase your earnings by 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X for the lower reward levels. The alternative multiplier wheel was discontinued on January 4, 2009, and the PowerPlay option has since been drawn by a computerized method.

The prize of $200,000 was modified to $1 million cash with PowerPlay for the second prize level, and the secondary prizes 2X, 3X, and 4X choices were eliminated.

Before November 1997, top awards could only be won in annual installments over a 25-year period. The addition of a cash option increased the popularity of the lottery. The annuity payment is now accessible in 30 installments over 29 years.

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