$350 MILLION: Powerball lottery jackpot soars

7th-largest US jackpot ever; 6th-largest cash value

By Todd Northrop

For only the 7th time in the history of United States lotteries, a lottery jackpot has grown to $350 million or more.

The new high-water mark of $350 million for the current Powerball jackpot was achieved after no winning tickets were sold for Saturday night’s $270 million grand prize.

The lump-sum cash payout value of Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is $222.8 million.  After-tax cash and annuity prize amounts are reported state-by-state on the Jackpot Analysis page at USA Mega, a web site devoted to the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state lottery games.

This is the largest Powerball jackpot since Nov. 28, 2012, when 2 tickets sold in Arizona and Missouri split a $587.5 million Powerball jackpot (see Record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot won by 2 tickets, Lottery Post, Nov. 29, 2012).

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

The mammoth prize is the result of 12 consecutive draws without a winner.  The run-up started as a $40 million prize on April 3, 2013.

The winning numbers for Saturday, May 11, 2013 were 6, 13, 19, 23, and 43, with Powerball number 16.

Even though nobody won the jackpot Saturday, 16 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Arizona, 3 from California, 1 from Indiana, 1 from Kentucky, 1 from Louisiana, 2 from Michigan, 1 from Minnesota, 2 from New York, 2 from North Carolina, and 2 from Pennsylvania.

The 3 California second-prize winners will each be awarded $573,694, because California does not award fixed prizes. By law, California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, 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.

None of the second-prize winners purchased the Power Play option. If they had, their second-prize win would have 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.

93 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Powerball and won $10,000.  Of those tickets, 11 were purchased with the Power Play option, increasing the prize to $40,000, and 8 of the tickets were sold in California, where the prize was worth $8,940 this drawing.

Following the Saturday drawing, the Powerball annuity jackpot estimate was raised $80 million from its previous amount of $270 million. The cash value was raised by $47 million from its previous amount of $175.8 million.

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

When a Powerball ticket is purchased with the Power Play option for an extra $1 per ticket, any non-jackpot prize is increased according to a fixed prize schedule, which can be found on the Powerball Drawing Detail page at USA Mega, as well as on the Powerball Prize Payouts page at Lottery Post.

Powerball is now played in 43 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.  Tickets cost $2 each.

A 44th Powerball state will be added some time in the next year, as the state of Wyoming has approved a new state lottery with the intention of joining Powerball and other multi-state games.  (See Wyoming officially becomes 44th state with a lottery, Lottery Post, Mar. 14, 2013.)

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 7th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.  That position may rise before the drawing Wednesday night, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

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

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 – Arizona, Missouri
  3. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 – Georgia, New Jersey
  4. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 – Idaho, Washington
  5. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 – Nebraska
  6. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 – Illinois, Michigan
  7. Powerball: $350 million, May 15, 2013 – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  8. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 – Oregon
  9. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 – New Jersey
  10. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 – Michigan
  11. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 – Rhode Island
  12. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 – California, New York
  13. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 – Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  14. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 – Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  15. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 – New York
  16. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 – California
  17. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 – West Virgina
  18. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 – Indiana
  19. Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 – Indiana
  20. Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 – Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  21. Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 – Massachusetts
  22. Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 – West Virgina
  23. Mega Millions: $275 million, Feb. 22, 2008 – Georgia
  24. Mega Millions: $270 million, Feb. 28, 2006 – Ohio
  25. Mega Millions: $266 million, May 4, 2010 – California

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

  • Mega Millions: 11
  • Powerball: 12
  • The Big Game: 2

The Big Game is the original name of Mega Millions, from the game’s first drawing on Sep. 6, 1996 through May 14, 2002.  The name was changed to Mega Millions starting with the May 17, 2002 drawing.

Top 20 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 is even better than the annuity, ranking as the 6th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  1. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) – Arizona, Missouri
  3. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) – Idaho, Washington
  4. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) – Georgia, New Jersey
  5. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) – Michigan
  6. Powerball: $222.8 million cash, May 15, 2013 ($350 million annuity) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) – California, New York
  8. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) – New Jersey
  9. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) – Rhode Island
  10. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) – New York
  11. Mega Millions: $194.4. million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) – Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  12. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) – California
  13. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) – Illinois, Michigan
  14. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) – Nebraska
  15. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) – Massachusetts
  16. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) – Georgia
  17. Powerball: $166 million cash, Aug. 25, 2001 ($295 million annuity) – Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  18. Mega Millions: $165.2 million cash, May 4, 2010 ($266 million annuity) – California
  19. Powerball: $164.4 million cash, won Oct. 19, 2005 ($340 million annuity) – Oregon
  20. Mega Millions: $164 million cash, Feb. 28, 2006 ($270 million annuity) – Ohio