As if $425 or $500 Million isn't enough, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery announced this morning that Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot has jumped to $550 million.
When the jackpot rolled last Saturday, the Lottery publicized a $425 million jackpot for Wednesday. Yesterday, it was raised to $500 million.
This morning, after consultation with Powerball officials, it was revealed that heavy sales have pushed more dollars into the prize pool, increasing the jackpot to $550 million. The cash payout would be $360.2 million.
The jackpot is the largest in Powerball history.
Original story (November 27):
Player enthusiasm nationwide for Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot, the largest in Powerball history, has resulted in record sales leading to an increased jackpot amount of $500 million; currently the largest in the world, and the second largest jackpot in US lottery history. Besides the jackpot, Powerball is expected to award nearly $70 million in cash prizes from Wednesday's draw.
"Nationally, Powerball is selling at an average rate of 105,000 tickets per minute," said Chuck Strutt, Director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. "And, we expect sales to remain strong until game close for Wednesday night's drawing."
All profits from Powerball sales remain in the state where the tickets were sold. While this series of rollovers has not yet resulted in a jackpot winner, millions of players have won lower tier prizes of up to $2 million, retailers have netted millions in commissions collectively and revenue has been generated to support worthwhile causes in every Powerball state.
"We know large jackpots attract players but frequent winning experiences is what keeps players coming back to the game," said Norman Lingle, Executive Director of the South Dakota Lottery and Chairman of the Powerball Game Group. "All players should be sure to check their tickets. Even if they don't win the jackpot, they can still win cash prizes between $4 and $2 million. With $70 million in cash prizes expected to be awarded Wednesday, in addition to any jackpot that may be won, we anticipate a high number of winners overall. So check your tickets."
Besides the ten jackpot winners so far in 2012, Powerball paid out over $827 million in cash prizes through November. In the 15 draws of the current run, Powerball has paid out $56 million Match 5 prizes. In last Saturday's draw alone, Powerball paid out over $25 million in cash for all prize levels.
For just $1 more, players can add Power Play, an added-value feature that allows players to win two to four times their non-jackpot prizes per play, including the chance to win up to $2 million for matching five white ball numbers excluding the Powerball. A player must choose the Power Play option on his/her Powerball playslip or tell the retailer that they wish to purchase a Power Play ticket.
The Multi-State Lottery Association reminds players to play responsibly and not spend beyond their means. As with all lottery products, players must be of legal age to purchase Powerball tickets.