Get In Line! Enormous Powerball Jackpot Up For Grabs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Get In Line! Enormous Powerball Jackpot Up For Grabs

If it seems as though lottery jackpots keep growing in size, you're right — the multistate Powerball lottery has ballooned to its third-largest size in history, and one or several lucky people could win Wednesday night's drawing.

At this writing, the Powerball is worth an estimated $360 million, with a $229.2 million cash value. The Associated Press says not only is this one of the biggest Powerball jackpots ever, it's the seventh-largest prize ever awarded in any lottery.

The last big Powerball winner was Pedro Quezada of New Jersey, who took home a $338 million prize in March. The jackpot has rolled over since then, although there have been smaller winners who've claimed $1 million prizes.

Why are the prizes so much bigger? Powerball officials say it's because ticket prices recently doubled, from $1 to $2 per ticket: "In these first draws we've seen a big jump in prize dollars moved to players and a big jump in dollars raised for good causes in each state."

The lottery has also made it "easier" to win, by dropping some of the red Powerball numbers. By easier, that means your chance of winning the grand prize has improved from one in 195 million to about 1 in 175 million. But those lucky few who do win are considerably richer: the group says the amount of money going to the jackpot fund is nearly twice what it used to be, meaning the average jackpot has risen from $141 million to $255 million. If you are just hoping to win one of the smaller grand prizes, the starting jackpot value has doubled from $20 to $40 million.

Remember — don't sit on a winning ticket for long, because states have deadlines between 90 days and a year. As Powerball's FAQ page reminds players, "The Universe is decaying and nothing lasts forever."

We're hoping that if there is a winner, he or she is as thrilled as this woman was last month: She Won $40,000! No, It Was $40 Million! Happy Dance Time!

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Novelist Nuruddin Farah: Facing A Blank Page Is 'Bravest Thing' A Writer Does

Farah's latest is called Hiding in Plain Sight. It's the story of Bella, a Somali photographer living in Rome who gets drawn into the lives of her niece and nephew after her half-brother is killed.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ballot Questions Draw Voters In 43 States

Ballot measures cover a lot of ground this year — from minimum wage to school calendars to one involving doughnuts and bear hunting. NPR's Charlie Mahtesian takes NPR's Scott Simon through the list.
NPR

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.