May 17, 2013 – A string of drawings without a jackpot winner have grown the estimated Powerball® jackpot to $600 million, the biggest jackpot ever offered by the game.
The Powerball jackpot starts at $40 million and continues to grow by at least $10 million each drawing until it is won. There have been 13 consecutive Powerball drawings since April 3 without a jackpot winner. This run has grown the estimated jackpot for the Saturday, May 18 drawing to $600 million or $376.9 million with the cash option selected.
“Powerball is making history this Saturday, and the Nebraska Lottery is excited to play a part in it,” said Jim Haynes, Nebraska Lottery Director. “Powerball was the first Lotto game we sold back in July 1994. It is our most popular game, and generates a large amount of proceeds for good causes across Nebraska. We hope that all of our Powerball players have fun and play responsibly.”
Nine jackpots ranging from $2.5 million to $365 million have been won in Nebraska. The largest Powerball jackpot won on a single ticket occurred in February 2006 when a group of eight coworkers at the ConAgra Foods ham and corned beef plant in Lincoln split a $365 million jackpot.
Besides the jackpot, players also have the chance to win significant non-jackpot prizes playing Powerball. Changes made to the game in January 2012 have resulted in more players becoming instant millionaires than ever before. “Everybody follows the bigger jackpot, but the real change in Powerball is more prizes, including lots more million dollar prizes,” said Haynes. “Since the game change, there have over 600 new millionaires created nationwide. Powerball has been rolling out an average of nearly nine millionaires every week; nearly 1.3 millionaires every day with the new game.”
Two Nebraska millionaires have been created during the current jackpot run. Lonnie White of Seward won a $2 million Powerball with Power Play® prize in the May 8 drawing, and a $1 million Powerball winning ticket for the May 15 drawing was sold at Super C, 3202 South Tenth Street in Lincoln. No one has come forward to claim the $1 million prize yet.
Powerball jackpot winners have two options for collecting their payment: 30 annuity payments or one cash payment at present value. The annuity option provides annual payments that increase each year. The present cash value is less than the advertised jackpot, which is based on the 29-year annuity option. Tickets can be purchased until 9 p.m. Central time on the night of the drawing. Winning Powerball numbers are announced every Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m. Central time and posted at the Nebraska Lottery website, nelottery.com.
Because of the high Powerball jackpot, the Nebraska Lottery encourages customers to play within their means. “It’s important for Nebraska Lottery players to remember that no matter how large the jackpot is, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million,” said Nebraska Lottery Director Jim Haynes. “Your odds of winning remain the same, regardless of how many tickets are purchased or how many people play.”
If you or someone you know has a problem with compulsive gambling please call the Nebraska Compulsive Gambling Help Line toll free at 800-GAMBLER.