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Powerball Jackpot Climbs Past Half of a Billion Dollars

Posted on: October 18, 2022, 12:53h. 

Last updated on: October 18, 2022, 02:29h.

The Powerball jackpot for the lottery game’s Wednesday, October 19 drawing is an estimated $508 million.

Powerball jackpot lottery odds Mega Millions
Lottery players wait in line at a convenience store in Idaho. The Powerball jackpot for Oct. 19, 2022, is an estimated $508 million. (Image: Salt Lake Tribune)

At $508 million, Wednesday’s draw is moving closer to reaching Powerball’s 10 largest jackpots in the game’s history. Powerball began in April 1992.

To crack the top 10, the Powerball jackpot will need to avoid being won on Wednesday night and grow to at least $564.1 million. No tickets matched Monday night’s winning white ball numbers of 19, 30, 36, 46, 60, and the red Powerball 25.

The last time the Powerball jackpot was north of half of a billion dollars was back on January 5, when two tickets sold in California and Wisconsin shared a $632.6 million prize.

The last Powerball ticket to match all six numbers occurred during the August 3 drawing, when a ticket sold in Pennsylvania won $206.9 million. There have been 32 drawings since without a jackpot hit.

Powerball tickets cost $2 per play. The game offers two separate $1 add-ons in most states — a $1 Power Play option and a $1 Double Play option that features another six numbers that don’t qualify for the jackpot, but which offer lower-tier prizes.

How Powerball Grows Jackpot

Powerball and Mega Millions have run up numerous jackpots upwards of half a billion dollars or more. That’s since the two games revamped their gameplay to make the odds of winning the jackpot longer. With the odds of a Powerball ticket matching all six numbers now 1 in 292 million and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions, the games’ jackpots more commonly roll over many times and balloon to nearly 10-digit sums.

To encourage play during lower jackpot amounts, Powerball initiates a possible 10x Power Play. The Power Play multiplier typically ranges from 2x to 5x. The multiplier is drawn concurrently during the game’s thrice weekly draw.

The Power Play multiplier applies only to non-jackpot wins. For instance, if a ticket matches only the Powerball and no white balls, the ticket wins $8 on the 2x multiplier. But when the Powerball jackpot is below $150 million, the game includes a potential 10x multiplier that would increase that $8 prize to $40.

Powerball’s prime rival, Mega Millions, doesn’t use such a 10x multiplier. Instead, the game maintains its $1 add-on “Megaplier,” which is a constant 2x to 5x.

Lottery Hysteria

Mega Millions was also north of half of a billion dollars this month before being hit last Friday. Two tickets — one sold in Florida and the other in California — split the $502 million jackpot.

With Mega Millions back to $20 million, Powerball should demand the bulk of this week’s lottery action. In recent months, lottery sales have outpaced estimates by lottery officials, meaning Wednesday’s $508 million prize could be a bit more.

For now, the $508 million jackpot comes with a lump sum cash value of $256.3 million. After a 37% federal tax, the one-time payment would come to $161.5 million.

State taxes would then be levied unless the winner resides in California, Delaware, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming, as those are the only states that do not tax lottery prizes as personal income.

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