As Powerball fever sweeps the country ahead of the largest jackpot -- an estimated $600 million -- in the game's history, odds are favorable that a new multimillionaire (or multiple winners) will be crowned after Saturday night’s drawing.
Sales of Powerball tickets are surging as millions of Americans dream of hitting it big, with lines snaking around the corners of some convenience stores and other lottery retailers around the country.
“This is beyond water-cooler talk,” Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer told Delaware Online. “Everyone wants a shot at it. When jackpots get to this level, we see sales three to four times normal. The universe of players expands to occasional players and a lot of first-timers jumping in.”
As of Saturday morning, about 80 percent of the possible winning combinations of Powerball numbers have been purchased, which means there’s a good chance that there will be a winner, lottery officials told the Associated Press.
While the chances of there being a winner or winners is likely, the odds that that winner will be you is not in your favor. Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are more than 1 in 175 million.
The Powerball jackpot was listed at approximately $600 million as of Saturday morning, but that number is expected to climb as more tickets are sold.
The jackpot has already broken the previous Powerball record of $587.5 million on Nov. 28, 2012, which was split between winners in Arizona and Missouri.
While Saturday’s drawing is a Powerball record, it’s not the largest lottery jackpot. That title belongs to the March 30, 2012, Mega Millions drawing, which had a $656 million jackpot that was split among tickets in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. You can find a full list of the 10 largest lottery jackpots here.
Powerball tickets are sold in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Residents of Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Alabama and Mississippi are out of luck, so to speak, unless they head to an adjacent state participating in the drawing to buy tickets (easier said than done for Alaskans and Hawaiians.)
If you’ve already bought your ticket or tickets, you’re going to want to be around a TV to watch the Powerball drawing to learn whether you’re the winner of the $600 million jackpot.
Not sure what channel the drawing is on? Here’s a handy list of televisions stations broadcasting Saturday’s draw. Not going to be near a TV when the drawing is held at around 11 p.m. EDT? Have no worries: Powerball will live stream the draw on its YouTube channel here.