Powerball jackpot reaches an estimated $700m ahead of next drawing

Lottery Jackpot (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Lottery Jackpot (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Powerball jackpot has grown to an estimated $700m, making it the latest in a string of big prizes enticing players to plunk down $2 and try to beat formidable odds.

The $700m Powerball jackpot ranks as the 10th largest in US lottery history and comes on the heels of a $1.35bn Mega Millions prize won by someone in Maine less than three weeks ago and a record $2.04bn Powerball jackpot won by a California player last November.

The prizes grow so large because the odds of winning them are so long, at one in 292.2 million for Powerball. That allows jackpots to roll over week after week, getting bigger and bigger.

The last time someone won the Powerball jackpot was 19 November 2022, which means a winner of this jackpot would be the first Powerball winner of 2023.

The $700m prize is available to a winner who chooses to be paid over 29 years through an annuity. Nearly all jackpot winners prefer a one-time check, which for Saturday's drawing would be an estimated $375.7m.

To play Powerball, hopefuls must pick five numbers between one to 69 and then choose one Powerball number between one to 26. The first five numbers drawn appear on the white balls, while the Powerball number is shown using a red ball. If a player has a ticket that matches all of the five winning numbers plus the Powerball number, then they win the jackpot.

While there’s no determining exactly what the lucky numbers will be at the next drawing, as it all comes down to random chance, it doesn’t stop players from relying on a number of tricks and estimations.

The Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Powerball jackpot drawings take place every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The next drawing will take place on Saturday 4 February at 10.59pm ET.