News

With no winner since Christmas, Powerball hits $400M

With no winner since Christmas, Powerball hits $400M

BIG MONEY: The drawing scheduled for 10:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday is a chance to win the sixth-largest prize in U.S. lottery history and the fourth-largest for Powerball, according to a spokesperson for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the game. Photo: Reuters

By Zachary Cook

(Reuters) – Powerball ticket buyers lined up at corner groceries and gas stations on Wednesday with visions of hitting the $400 million jackpot in the U.S. lottery that hasn’t had a top prize winner since Christmas.

The drawing scheduled for 10:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday is a chance to win the sixth-largest prize in U.S. lottery history and the fourth-largest for Powerball, according to a spokesperson for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the game.

The top prize amount has been swelling since the last jackpot on Christmas Day, and it has rolled over 15 times and increased in value after each drawing since then, said Carolyn Hapeman, Powerball spokeswoman in New York.

Most recently, there was no winner in Saturday’s $330 million prize, which grew to a $400 million jackpot for Wednesday night’s drawing.

If the winner opts to take Wednesday night’s prize as a lump sum, it would amount to $227.8 million, the website said.

In the last two years, Powerball prizes have increased considerably, due to ticket prices doubling, from $1 to $2, and California, the nation’s most populous state, joining 42 other states, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands in playing the game.

The chance of claiming the jackpot is one in 175 million, regardless of how many tickets a person buys.

The biggest winner in the history of Powerball took home $590 million before taxes after purchasing a winning ticket in May 2013 in Florida.

The Powerball website said the average jackpot winnings are roughly $255 million and about 70 percent of winners buy their tickets with computer generated numbers.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘Frozen’ princess promises to be hot holiday item

frozen

Snow Glow Elsa is one of only four toys to feature on three major guides of top toys for the Christmas season.

in Music

WATCH: Beck kicks off George Harrison week on ‘Conan’

15-overlay4

"Harrison Week" celebrates the late Beatle and the upcoming release of “The Apple Years: 1968-75,” featuring the beloved singer/songwriter’s first six solo albums.

in Entertainment

American Girl, Rubik’s Cube among Toy Hall of Fame finalists

toyhalloffame

They face off against My Little Pony, the Slip 'N Slide, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other childhood favorites.

in Music

Blondie marks 40 years in music with photo exhibit

blondie

The career retrospective is on display at the iconic Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan.

in Entertainment

Jada Pinkett Smith signs on to ‘Magic Mike’ sequel

jada

The star says she has been cast in a role that was initially intended for a man.