(Pierre) – Powerball players’ keen interest in the current record jackpot run has triggered significant sales and prompted the group that oversees the game to raise the estimated jackpot to $550 million. According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, the jackpot is the highest ever for Powerball.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1:175,223,510. The biggest jackpot won to date in the game was a $365 million prize split by eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant in February of 2006.
If the jackpot is won in the November 28, 2012 drawing and the winner chooses the annuity option, the prize money will be paid out in 30 graduated payments over 29 years. The cash option will be paid in a one-time lump sum payment of $360.2 million less 25% IRS withholding requirements.
Players who don’t hit the jackpot Saturday night can still pocket bigger prizes if they purchase the Power Play option for an additional $1 when they buy a Powerball ticket. Tickets that have the Power Play option and match all five white-ball numbers but not the red Powerball will win $2 million automatically.
Powerball tickets can be purchased at any Lottery retailer until 9:00 p.m. CT/8:00 p.m. MT the night of the drawing. South Dakota Lottery officials remind those purchasing tickets to please play responsibly.
Powerball is played in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.