The last big winner in the Powerball lottery was just last Saturday, when a ticket took home the $129 million jackpot. Odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 195,249,054 for Powerball. On Tuesday, its rival multi-jurisdictional lottery, Mega Millions, saw one New York state ticket take home the $206 million jackpot. Odds for winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 175,711,536 for Mega Millions.
The balls picked for the Dec. 28 Powerball drawing were: 16, 21, 27, 41, 45, and the Powerball of 14. The Powerplay (PP) multiplier was x2.
The total results for the Powerball drawing were:
5 + 1 (PB), 0, $20 Million
5 + 0, 0, $200,000.00, 0 (PP winners), $1,000,000.00 (PP prize amount)
4 + 1, 7, $10,000.00, 1 (PP winners), $20,000.00 (PP prize amount)
4 + 0, 85, $100.00, 27 (PP winners), $200.00 (PP prize amount)
3 + 1, 120, $100.00, 25 (PP winners), $200.00 (PP prize amount)
3 + 0, 5010, $7.00, 1,263 (PP winners), $14.00 (PP prize amount)
2 + 1, 2253, $7.00, 549 (PP winners), $14.00 (PP prize amount)
1 +1, 14100, $4.00, 3,301 (PP winners), $8.00 (PP prize amount)
0 + 1, 27537, $3.00, 6,458 (PP winners), $6.00 (PP prize amount)
[What is Power Play? It's a special --- and optional --- feature that allows a Powerball winner to increase their original prize amount. It applies only to the $3 to 10,000 prize levels, Powerball winners can multiply their Powerball prizes by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. The Power Play multiplier number is randomly chosen before each draw. A player must choose the Power Play option for an extra $1 when they buy their Powerball ticket.]
Powerball drawings are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time. The game currently uses a double matrix system, just like Mega Millions. Players pick 5 numbers from a set of 59 (white balls) and one number from a set of 39 (Powerballs). Each selection of six numbers costs players $1 for the base game. The official cutoff time for ticket sales is one hour before drawings; some jurisdictions cut off sales earlier.
Powerball is sold in 44 jurisdictions as a shared jackpot game, just as its rival Mega Millions (which is sold in 43 jurisdictions, many of which overlap). The jackpot is paid as a 30-payment annuity (Mega Millions uses a 26-payment annuity); players may choose cash (in either lottery) instead.
The difference between an annuity payout and a cash payout is significant and reflects the fact that interest from the unpaid funds is used to generate the extra money for the annuity. For example, the $25 million Saturday drawing has a cash value of $15.8 million.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons