$730 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot skyrockets

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PowerballPowerball: $730 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot skyrocketsRating:

6th-largest US jackpot ever; 4th-largest cash value ever

By Todd Northrop

There are going to be a lot of lottery tickets sold this week.

For the first time ever, both the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state lottery jackpots are simultaneously above $700 million, creating a total of $1.58 billion in jackpot prize money combined.

It’s also the first time both games concurrently offered a cash option of more then $500 million.

This unique record comes after nobody won the top prize in last night’s Powerball drawing, sending the new jackpot estimate for Wednesday’s drawing to $730 million — with a lump-sum cash value of $546 million.

What a way to break out of the 2020 doldrums! The ability to walk into a lottery retailer and purchase two separate opportunities to win more than a half-billion dollars in cash is unprecedented.

Lottery players dreaming of what all that cash would look like in their bank account can get quite an accurate picture by visiting USA Mega’s Powerball Jackpot Analysis and Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis pages. They present the after-tax cash and annuity prize amounts reported state-by-state, showing both the initial withholdings by the lottery as well as the final taxes due — and even lets you specify your IRS filing status.

Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs.

Wednesday’s mammoth jackpot is the result of another Powerball record: 35 consecutive draws without a winner — the longest streak for the decades-old game. The run-up started as a $20 million prize on Sept. 19.

The winning numbers for Saturday, January 16, 2021 were 14, 20, 39, 65, and 67, with Powerball number 2. The Power Play number was 3.

Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 16 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 2 from California, 1 from Florida, 1 from Georgia, 1 from Idaho, 1 from Illinois, 1 from Missouri, 1 from New Hampshire, 1 from New Mexico, 1 from New York, 1 from Ohio, 1 from Pennsylvania, 3 from Texas, and 1 from West Virginia.

The two California second-prize winners each will receive $536,063, due to that state’s law that requires all lottery payouts to be calculated with a pari-mutuel formula, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level. Since more than one player won second prize, the winners will split the $1,072,126 that was allotted in this drawing for the second prize level.

Only two of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option — the tickets sold in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Because those tickets were purchased with the Power Play option their second-prize wins are automatically doubled to $2 million. Power Play is not available in California, because the fixed nature of the prize increase offered in Power Play is not compatible with California’s pari-mutuel payouts.

97 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $50,000. Of those tickets, 15 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $150,000, and 9 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $30,496 this drawing.

In total, a staggering $47,707,913 will be awarded in prize money in this one Powerball drawing.

A full listing of all payout amounts as well as the official drawing video can be found on the Powerball Drawing Detail page at USA Mega, as well as on the Powerball Prize Payouts page at Lottery Post.

Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $90.6 million from its previous amount of $639.4 million. The cash value was raised by $67.3 million from its previous amount of $478.7 million.

The next Powerball drawing will take place Wednesday night at 10:59 pm Eastern Time.

Players looking for a nearby lottery retailer — or that out-of-the-way retailer with a smaller line — are encouraged to use Lottery Places, the only app for iOS, Android, and Windows that can locate the nearest lottery retailers in every jurisdiction that sells Powerball and Mega Millions. The helpful app can locate lottery stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, much of Canada, and the Caribbean.

Some states offer direct online sales too. Michigan residents can bypass the store completely and buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online. Texas residents can buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online too. Oregon residents have options to buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online as well. Note that some of these links will only work properly for residents of the states mentioned.

Players outside the USA can use a reputable butler service, which provides scanned copies of the purchased lottery tickets securely held on behalf of the customer. In the past, the lottery ticket service was used by people out side the USA to win big jackpots in Oregon and Florida.

Powerball is played in 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.

Powerball lottery results are published within minutes of the drawing at USA Mega (www.usamega.com). The USA Mega Web site provides lottery players in-depth information about the United States’s two biggest multi-state lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot currently stands as the 6th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States, and the 4th-largest Powerball jackpot ever. Brisk sales will likely push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

If nobody wins Wednesday, it’s anyone’s guess how high it will go.

  1. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $1.537 billion, Oct. 23, 2018 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – South Carolina
  3. Mega Millions: $850 million, Jan. 19, 2021 (35 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  4. Powerball: $768.4 million, Mar. 27, 2019 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Wisconsin
  5. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Massachusetts
  6. Powerball: $730 million, Jan. 20, 2021 (35 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Powerball: $687.8 million, Oct. 27, 2018 (21 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Iowa, New York
  8. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 (18 rollovers, starting at $12 million) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  9. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 (21 rollovers, starting at $12 million) – California, Georgia
  10. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 (13 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Florida
  11. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Arizona, Missouri
  12. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  13. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Hampshire
  14. Mega Millions: $543 million, Jul. 24, 2018 (22 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California
  15. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 (34 rollovers, starting at $15 million) – Indiana
  16. Mega Millions: $533 million, Mar. 30, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Jersey
  17. Mega Millions: $522 million, Jun. 7, 2019 (24 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California
  18. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Hampshire
  19. Powerball: $456.7 million, Mar. 17, 2018 (19 rollovers, starting at $15 million) – Pennsylvania
  20. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $15 million) – Florida
  21. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 (12 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  22. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California
  23. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Indiana
  24. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Jersey
  25. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California

For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 9

Top 25 cash value jackpots

Since many lottery winners collect their winnings in cash, the lump-sum payout is an important measure of what a winning ticket could be worth.

Looking at the cash value, the upcoming Powerball jackpot ranks as the 4th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) – California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $877.8 million cash, Oct. 23, 2018 ($1.537 billion annuity) – South Carolina
  3. Mega Millions: $628.2 million cash, Jan. 19, 2021 ($850 million annuity) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  4. Powerball: $546 million cash, Jan. 20, 2021 ($730 million annuity) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  5. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) – Massachusetts
  6. Powerball: $476.9 million cash, Mar. 27, 2019 ($768.4 million annuity) – Wisconsin
  7. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  8. Powerball: $396.2 million cash, Oct. 27, 2018 ($687.8 million annuity) – Iowa, New York
  9. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) – Arizona, Missouri
  10. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  11. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) – Indiana
  12. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) – Florida
  13. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) – New Hampshire
  14. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) – California, Georgia
  15. Mega Millions: $340 million cash, Jun. 7, 2019 ($522 million annuity) – California
  16. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) – New Hampshire
  17. Mega Millions: $324 million cash, Mar. 30, 2018 ($533 million annuity) – New Jersey
  18. Mega Millions: $320.5 million cash, Jul. 24, 2018 ($543 million annuity) – California
  19. Mega Millions: $319.9 million cash, Jun. 9, 2020 ($414 million annuity) – Arizona
  20. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) – New Jersey
  21. Mega Millions: $281.9 million cash, Jan. 5, 2018 ($451 million annuity) – Florida
  22. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) – California
  23. Powerball: $276.5 million cash, Jan. 29, 2020 ($396.9 million annuity) – Florida
  24. Powerball: $273.9 million cash, Mar. 17, 2018 ($456.7 million annuity) – Pennsylvania
  25. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) – Indiana

The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 15
  • Mega Millions: 10

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