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Giant jackpots becoming common for U.S. lotteries | WFRV Local 5

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the second time this year, a $1 billion jackpot is on the line in the United States.

After Saturday’s Powerball drawing found no perfect matches, the $825 million jackpot rolled over and now stands at a crisp $1 billion.

The Powerball operates in 45 states, along with Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Monday’s drawing will be the fifth-highest jackpot of all time in the U.S., coming just shy of the $1.05 billion Mega Millions drawing on Jan. 22, 2021. It is the largest jackpot ever claimed in Michigan, won by a lottery club in Novi.

The 10-largest jackpots have all happened in the last six years after the Powerball and Mega Millions adjusted their odds to purposefully try and build bigger jackpots. The Powerball made the big change in October 2015, changing the total number of white balls from 59 to 69 while dropping the number of red balls from 35 to 26.

With the change, smaller prizes are easier to win, but the alluring jackpot becomes much harder: from 1 in roughly 175 million to 1 in roughly 292 million. Mega Millions adjusted their odds in 2017.

No one has won the Powerball jackpot in 37 drawings. The last time someone matched all five white numbers and the red Powerball was Aug. 3. No one from Michigan has won a Powerball jackpot since Feb. 12, 2020, when a woman from Waterford won $70 million.

Of the top 10 jackpots, the largest was drawn on Jan. 13, 2016. Three winning tickets were sold to split the $1.586 billion Powerball prize. The largest jackpot claimed by a single ticket was drawn on Oct. 23, 2018, when a person from South Carolina won $1.537 billion from the Mega Millions.

In the top 10, five are now Powerball jackpots and five are Mega Millions. While Powerball grew to be the largest, the Mega Millions claims No. 2 through 4.

The Powerball draws at 9:59 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. In-store and online ticket sales stop at 8:45 p.m. on the night of a draw. In-store sales are then closed until after the draw. Tickets can be purchased online during that time, but they are for the next draw.

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