$475 Million Powerball Jackpot: How To Play, Betting Odds Ahead of Next Saturday's Numbers Drawing

on May 16 2013 11:44 AM

Wednesday’s $360 million Powerball jackpot drawing failed to produce a winner, pushing the prodigious prize to $475 million.

According to a Thursday morning message on the interstate lottery’s website, Wednesday night’s drawing of the numbers 2, 11, 26, 34, 41, and a Powerball of 32 failed to produce a winner. As a result, ticket purchasers will be competing for a $475 million Powerball jackpot.

The next Powerball drawing will be held on Saturday. The current $475 million jackpot is the second largest in the game’s history, and the third largest in the history of the lottery, the Associated Press notes.

Lottery officials attribute the massive jackpot to a pair of new measures, AP reports. First, a January 2012 Powerball redesign increased each player’s odds of winning some sort of reward, while lowering the amount of possible number combinations to win the grand prize.

The practice of "cross-selling" Powerball and Mega Millions tickets, or allowing states to sell tickets for both games, has also contributed to the larger jackpots. Iowa lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer told AP that Powerball jackpots will continue to grow to record-setting levels.

"It usually took a handful of months, if not several months, for a jackpot to reach this large amount," she said. "Now it's achieving that within a handful of weeks. I think the redesign is achieving exactly what we had wanted it to achieve, which is the bigger, faster-growing jackpot."

The numbers certainly seem to back up Neubauer’s claim. AP reports that more than half of the all-time jackpot records have been set in the last three years, and the two biggest jackpots to date -- one from a Mega Millions drawing and one from a Powerball drawing -- were both awarded in 2012.

Still, no one said that winning the $475 million Powerball jackpot was going to be easy. According to the game’s officials, the odds of winning the grand prize are one in 175.2 million.

The next grand prize drawing will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 10:59 p.m. ET. Participants can learn how to play Powerball by reading the corresponding section on the game’s website. In addition, a list of the television stations that will air Saturday’s drawing can be found here.

More News from IBT MEDIA