The jackpot has now been growing for 16 straight draws, and tonight’s game will offer the biggest prize since a group of 20 Tennessee co-workers landed $420.9 million on 26th November. If anyone succeeds in matching all five main numbers plus the Powerball, they can either take the annuity option and be paid the full prize over 30 instalments, or opt for a one-off cash sum of $189.3 million.
As attractive as the current jackpot is, it still falls a long way short of the record of $1.58 billion, which was set just over a year ago. Three ticket holders split the staggering prize on 13th January 2015, with the lucky winners eventually revealed to be Marvin and Mae Acosta from California, Lisa and John Robinson from Tennessee, and David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith from Florida.
The estimated jackpot began to climb extremely quickly just before the record was set last year, jumping from $301 million to $355 million, then $524 million, $949 million and finally $1.58 billion in consecutive draws, so ticket sales could be about to explode in a similar fashion. The game can be played online now, or via authorised retailers in participating states and jurisdictions.