Powerball jackpot reaches record $500 million

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 1:16pm

Sky-high sales in Texas and across the nation have catapulted Wednesday night’s record Powerball® jackpot to an estimated $500 million, with a cash value of $327 million. This is the largest Powerball jackpot ever and the second largest jackpot in history for any lottery game. Wednesday’s drawing also offers players the chance to become millionaires even without matching all of the numbers.

“Powerball sales in Texas are phenomenal. Sales for yesterday alone were nearly $3.2 million, which is a 577 percent increase from last Monday,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery®. “Texas is long overdue for a Powerball jackpot winner and we hope a Texan claims tomorrow night’s jackpot.”

The winner of Wednesday’s jackpot will not be the only Powerball prize winner. The game offers players the chance to become millionaires even without matching all of the numbers. In 2012 alone, Texas has had 16 Powerball second-tier winners of $1 million and $2 million, including five sold in November.

Lottery players have until 9 p.m. Central time on Wednesday to purchase tickets for the drawing, which will be held at 9:59 Central time. Texas Lottery officials will live-Tweet drawing results as they come in from across the country.

Powerball players win the jackpot by correctly matching five numbers from a field of 59, plus the Powerball number from a field of 35. The second-tier prize, awarded for matching all five numbers, but not the Powerball number is $1 million. Players can increase their second-tier prize to $2 million if they purchase the $1 add-on feature Power Play® with their ticket. Odds of winning the jackpot prize are one in 175,223,510, and overall odds of winning any prize are one in 32.

This jackpot started as a $40 million prize on Oct. 6, and is the result of 15 draws without a jackpot winner. The last Powerball jackpot-winning ticket was sold in the state of Delaware for the drawing held on Oct. 3. To date, the biggest Powerball jackpot was a $365 million prize won in Nebraska in 2006. Powerball is a multistate game and is sold in 44 jurisdictions. Powerball began in 1992, with Texas joining the game in 2010.

About the Texas Lottery

Beginning with the first ticket sold in 1992, the Texas Lottery has generated more than $20 billion in revenue for the state and distributed $39 billion in prizes to lottery players. Since 1997, the Texas Lottery has contributed more than $14 billion to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in Texas. As authorized by the Texas Legislature, certain Texas Lottery revenues benefit state programs including the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Texas Lottery provides several entertaining games for lottery players including Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto Texas®, All or Nothing™, Texas Two Step®, Pick 3™, Daily 4™, Cash Five® and scratch-offs. For more information visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or at www.txlottery.org.

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