Powerball Jackpot Creeping Toward All-Time Record For Saturday’s Drawing

As of Thursday, the $1.5 billion jackpot was the third largest in American lottery history

The Powerball jackpot has grown to — ahem — powerful proportions, with a $1.5 billion jackpot waiting for someone to win.

The next drawing is Saturday, Nov. 5, and by the time the six numbers are drawn, the jackpot — currently the third largest in lottery history — might exceed the current record-holding $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot that was split among three winners in 2016. The current second-place holder is the Mega Millions, which hit $1.537 billion in 2018 — and was won by a single person.

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The Powerball multi-state lottery game is offered in Pennsylvania as well as 44 other states. There are 69 white balls, of which five get chosen, along with 26 Powerballs, of which one gets chosen. Match the five and the one, and you win the money. 

The odds of winning? Not great. It’s 292,201,338/1. Considering there are about 331 million people currently living in the United States, those odds are just slightly better than picking a random American out of a crowd.

How might one parlay the Powerball pot?

But as with all things gambling-related, someone eventually has to win, and for $2 a ticket (or $3 with the “Power Play” option, which allows for the chance to hit a multiplier on other, smaller wins), many Americans will undoubtedly be trying their luck for the drawing Saturday night at 10:59 ET.

Of course, if someone in Pennsylvania wins, they’ll be subject to the 24% federal tax and a 3.07% state tax. So for argument’s (and simplicity’s) sake, let’s say a Pennsylvania winner will walk away with a cool billion.

One could do a lot of gambling with that.

For instance …

  • With a billion dollars, you could enter the $10,000 main event at the World Series of Poker for the next 100,000 years. 
  • Perhaps poker isn’t your bag; maybe you want to max enter the DraftKings $20 Millionaire Maker. That would cost $3,000 this and every Sunday during the 18-week NFL regular season — $54,000 in total. You could do that for another 18,518 years until the year 20540, so you probably should enter some chalk lineups. 
  • Or maybe you like the table games. That billion dollars will buy you 10 million hands at a $100 blackjack table. Figure about 50 hands an hour at a full enough table, you could play 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and spend the next 22 years going through your original stake. 
  • Horse racing? Sure. You can do a 10-horse superf…

{Editor’s note: The author of this piece has left his desk to run to Wawa and buy a few Powerball tickets. Good luck to everyone Saturday …}

Photo: Jerry Habraken/USA TODAY


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