Does The Powerball Jackpot Reset If Someone Wins? The Lottery Gods Are Ready To Go Again The Very Next Day
It is safe to say that the United States has a pretty bad case of Powerball fever. With a $1.5 billion jackpot up for grabs, tickets were selling at a rate of $3.3 million's worth per hour in New York this past weekend. Last week in California, hopeful residents were snapping them up at a rate of $2.8 million's worth an hour! So now that some insanely lucky person or group of people might have won the massive Powerball jackpot Wednesday night, their life (or lives) will be forever altered. But what happens to the Powerball jackpot the day after a massive prize is claimed?
It's simple. The morning after a massive win, the jackpot resets to the base level of $40 million. That's roughly 37 times lower than the current jackpot amount — and after taxes, the potential payout from Wednesday night's drawing would "only" have a cash value of $930 million — but still a large enough wad of cash to have serious life-changing potential.
The base jackpot has been increasing since the game's inception in 1992, when Powerball winners could expect at least $2 million if their numbers came up. Nearly five years later, in 1997, the minimum payout jumped to $10 million. The past decade has seen even more increases: $15 million in 2005, $20 million in 2009, and then $40 million by early 2012.
The most recent record-busting jackpot would not have been possible without recent changes to the structure of the game which were passed this October. At the time, officials claimed that the rule changes would result in Powerball players having a one in 25 shot of winning something with each ticket purchase, giving them better odds than the old one-in-32 odds. However, while the chances of bringing home some extra cash increased, winning the jackpot itself became much more difficult, with the odds currently standing at one in 292 million, up from one in 179 million. The Washington Post reported that this means "the odds went up for the jackpot and the next five prizes. The only rewards that became easier to win were the two $4 prizes and one of the two $7 prizes."
While millions of Powerball players around the country hoped that Wednesday would be their lucky night, it looks like the real winners are the national organizers, as well as the state education budgets that ticket sales (kind of) help support.