Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot, estimated to be at $500 million, had lottery players across the country scrambling for tickets. The jackpot was the sixth highest amount it has ever been in North America, as well as the highest it has been in almost a year. Ticket holders can check online here for the winning numbers, which were drawn late Wednesday night.
As of Wednesday evening, the prize had a $306 million cash value before taxes. The $500 million prize is based on an annuity. The massive jackpot has been steadily growing since the last Powerball jackpot winner claimed the prize Nov. 4. If no one wins Wednesday, the prize for Saturday’s drawing will be even bigger, the Associated Press reported.
— PowerBall Lottery (@PowerBallonline) January 6, 2016
“Every attempt is made to ensure that this list of numbers is accurate, the official winning numbers are recorded in the official draw files as certified by an independent accounting firm. Winning numbers are not official until confirmed by the auditing firm of Carroll and Company, CPAs,” according to a statement from the Multi-State Lottery Association, on Powerball winning numbers.
Last February, the Powerball prize climbed to $564.1 million before it was won by players from North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico, the Associated Press reported. The largest Powerball prize ever won was for $590.5 million, which was awarded to a single winner in Florida in May 2013. Powerball is played across 44 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The odds of a $2 ticket hitting the jackpot Wednesday were reportedly 292,201,338 to 1.