After no tickets matched all six numbers for a record $950 million jackpot over the weekend, the United States Powerball lottery prize has continued to rise, set to reach an all-time high of $1.3 billion ahead of the next drawing. Lottery fever swept the nation, with ticket sales surging in the days leading up to Wednesday's drawing.
The next drawing is to be held Wednesday, Jan. 13, for the jackpot of $1.3 billion, and ticket sales cut off one hour before the drawing at 11 p.m. EST. The official Powerball website lists all of the television stations that will be airing the drawing, but for those who do not have cable television and still want to find out if they are winners, the Powerball website will live stream the results here.
In order to win the jackpot, a ticket must match all of the six winning numbers, though the first five numbers can be in any order. A second prize of $1,000,000 can be won if someone has five out of the six numbers. Players can also win smaller prizes, and the chance of winning something is 1 in 25 according to the official Powerball website.
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People across the U.S. have rushed to buy tickets, sometimes waiting in long lines. Tickets are sold in 44 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Lottery players spent $277 million on lottery tickets on Friday alone, the executive director of the Texas Lottery told the Associated Press.
The jackpot has been steadily climbing since it first started at $40 million in November. The odds of matching all six numbers is approximately 1 in 292.2 million, meaning someone is more likely to become the next U.S. president or flip a coin and land on heads 28 times than win the jackpot, a statistics professor told Reuters. "It doesn't sound so bad ... but you would be at it for an eternity," said Jeffrey Miecznikowski, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Buffalo.