Although there were no big winners in the drawing, there were winners in a number of categories.
The balls picked for the Jan. 18 Powerball drawing were: 6-29-34-44-50 with a Powerball number of 28.
5-of-5 + Powerball (PB); 0; $80 Million - -
5-of-5; 0; $1,000,000.00; 0; $2,000,000.00
4-of-5 + PB; 0; $10,000.00; 1; $40,000.00
4-of-5; 72; $100.00; 21; $200.00
3-of-5 + PB; 125 $100.00 24; $200.00
3-of-5; 4,236 $7.00 941; $14.00
2-of-5 + PB; 2,071; $7.00; 467; $14.00
1-of-5 + PB; 13,891; $4.00; 3,169; $12.00
0-of-5 + PB; 28,703; $4.00; 6,796; $12.00
For those who don't understand how the Power Play feature works, it is an optional feature that allows a Powerball winner to increase their original prize amount. It applies all the prize except for the jackpot. Powerball winners can multiply their Powerball prizes, but instead of the Power Play multiplier being randomly chosen before each draw, with the Jan. 15, 2012 changes, the multiplier amount is set (see above and do the math). 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 35 red balls (Powerballs). Each selection of six numbers costs players $2 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 $44 million drawing scheduled for Sat. Jan 7, 2012 had a cash value of $27.9 million.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons