It's already been confirmed to be the largest Powerball jackpot in history, but the current $1.4 billion prize could grow even more massive this week. Since the present jackpot started Nov. 4, nobody has been able to beat the odds of winning the Powerball, causing the prize amount to increase after every drawing, recently shatter records each time. With no winner claiming the last drawing, the jackpot entered into the billions over the weekend. But what if nobody wins the $1.4 billion Powerball jackpot in the next drawing? Players can expect to keep adding to their fantasies, because the prize money will continue to swell.
After nobody claimed a winning ticket Saturday night, that drawing's $950 million grew into $1.4 billion by Monday. Again, millions of hopefuls will try to win this new hefty sum when the next drawing takes place on Wednesday. However, if no one succeeds in matching the winning numbers, then that $1.4 billion will only increase.
It's difficult to say at this time what the exact amount will be if Wednesday's jackpot goes unclaimed, as it depends on ticket sales. But if people continue to purchase Powerball tickets as they have in recent weeks, then we can expect the payout to jump significantly. In fact, because so many people have purchased tickets for the Wednesday Powerball drawing, the previously-reported jackpot amount of $1.3 billion was bumped up to $1.4 billion on Monday. If ticket sales remain solid or increase, then that number could grow even higher before Wednesday's drawing.
It's hard to believe that the current jackpot started out at a "mere" $40 million (feels like chump change now, doesn't it?), and in just two short months grew to over $1 billion. Each week, hundreds of millions of tickets fail to match the winning numbers, which shouldn't be that surprising, considering how the odds of winning are now one in 292 million.
In order to win, a player must match all five numbers in any order, but their sixth number must match the Powerball number. If you match the first five numbers without the Powerball number, you can still walk away with a cool million, which 25 people did after Saturday's drawing.
Prior to this current record-setting jackpot, the largest U.S. lottery prize was $656 million, which was won in a Mega Millions drawing. Even that amount seems modest, now that we have a jackpot that could be nicknamed Mega Billions.