Powerball jackpot grew to $500 million Tuesday as part of a plan lottery officials put together early this year to build jackpots faster and generate revenue for states that run the game.
In fiscal 2012, Powerball sale hit a record $3.96 billion and was expected to touch $5 billion by the year end, Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, the group that runs the Powerball game, told the Associated Press (AP).
The jackpot payout posted at $425 million revised upward to $500 million owing to robust sales. The sum is identified as the second highest jackpot in history, behind only $656 million mega million prize given out in March.
Apparently, it had taken nine weeks for the mega millions jackpot to attain that high before three persons from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland won the lottery, each collecting $218.6 million, the AP pointed out.
Although odds of winning the jackpot are not high, the extra dollars that come through sales appear to provide relief to the city and the state coffers.
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While half the proceeds go to the prize pool, the remaining will be shared by the 42 states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands where Powerball is played. The money collected is usually provided for education and charitable initiatives, in addition to overhead compensation given to the winning stores, according to the Kansas City Star.
Soaring jackpots result in soaring sales, and for states playing the game, this implies higher revenue.
"The purpose for the lottery is to generate revenue for the respective states and their beneficiary programs," Norm Lingle, chairman of the Powerball Game Group, said. "High jackpots certainly help the lottery achieve those goals."