This Saturday evening, Powerball players will have an opportunity to cash in on an estimated $320 million.
Wednesday night's drawing yielded no winners of the Jackpot, the famous lottery prize with money pooled from ticket sales in various states, and that means the numbers have climbed and the stakes are higher. Although Saturday’s sum is still far from, say, the $1.4 billion prize lottery fans saw earlier this year, $320 million is still a sweet deal.
Saturday's selection will kick off at 10:59 p.m. EST. Interested in cashing in but don’t know how to get started? Here are the rules you need to know.
Players can purchase Powerball tickets for $2. Each ticket guarantees one series of numbers for a drawing, and players can purchase more to increase their odds. People can select their own number combination or let a computer pick for them.
Ticket sales are typically cut off at least an hour prior to the official draw. The game is played in 44 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Every Wednesday and Saturday night, five white, numbered balls are pulled from a group of 69 balls. A single red ball is selected from a group of 26 red balls.
In order to score the Jackpot prize, a player has to have selected the numbers on all five of the chosen white balls (any order will do) and the red Powerball. To collect the second prize option, a player must have chosen numbers matching the five white balls (again, in any order). Players can also win by matching three white balls, as well as scoring any red Powerball match.
Whenever nobody wins the Jackpot, the total grows.
Jackpot winners have the option of collecting the full cash sum — after taxes. They can also accept the prize money over a 29-year annual payment plan. The annual payment plan does mean that each payment will increase by 5 percent every year in order to keep up with living costs, according to Powerball site.
Second-prize winners who match the five white balls receive a $1 million sum. There is no annual payment option for this win. For the complete list of winning prizes, visit the Powerball website’s "9 Ways To Win" page.
How good are your chances? “The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are approximately 1 in 25,” the Powerball site reads. The odds of winning the grand prize are around 1 in 292.2 million, while the odds of taking home the $1 million sum are about 1 in 11.6 million.
Choose your numbers carefully and check back Saturday to see if you might be winning big.