The Powerball jackpot soared past the half-a-billion-dollar mark on Wednesday night after rolling over for the 20th time in a row. The last time there were 20 consecutive draws without a winner was last summer, and then Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts scooped $758.7 million in the next game to become Powerball’s biggest ever winner on a single ticket.
The current jackpot ranks as the sixth-largest in Powerball history, and has a cash value of $347.9 million. If anyone is lucky enough to win on Saturday, they will be able to choose between that one-off lump sum or the full $550 million as an annuity, which is paid out in 30 annual instalments.
There has not been a higher Mega Millions jackpot since 8th July 2016, when an anonymous Indiana couple claimed $536 million under the company name Warren D, LLC. The top prize has been steadily rising since a number of changes were made to the game last October, which were introduced to create more big jackpots.
The record Mega Millions jackpot is $656 million and dates back to 30th March 2012, when three lucky ticket holders snapped up $218.6 million each before taxes. It is a figure which could be under threat if there are two or three more rollovers.
Will The Jackpots Fall?
The odds of winning remain the same whether the jackpot is large or small, but more tickets are generally sold when the top prize is bigger. As such, there are more possible combinations entered into the draw and the chances of someone scooping the jackpot increase.
Players who want to try and win one of the big jackpots before they fall can either visit an authorised retailer in one of the participating jurisdictions or choose numbers online.