(Pierre) - No one matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing and the jackpot has reached a record $365 million. The record jackpot triggers a feature of the game called the Match 5 Bonus prize pool which boosts the game’s second prize when the jackpot is won.
“The Match 5 Bonus lets more players share the winnings for the record jackpot,” said Norman Lingle, the Lottery’s executive director.
Ticket sales normally determine how fast the jackpot grows. Because it’s a new record, jackpot growth for the rest of this run is limited to increments of no more than $25 million. Jackpot prize money generated beyond that goes into a Match 5 Bonus prize pool where it will also grow until the record jackpot is won.
When the jackpot is won, the Match 5 Bonus prize pool will be divided equally between all players who match the five white balls, but not the Powerball, for that drawing. Those prizes are normally $200,000.
“The second prizes could be worth hundreds of thousands more than usual, and it doesn’t cost anything extra for the player. If you buy a Powerball ticket, you’re eligible,” Lingle said.
The Match 5 Bonus prize pool for Saturday’s drawing is currently estimated at $9 million, but is expected to grow before the drawing. Players can see the prize pool amount on the www.powerball.com website.
While added to the game in 2002, it has been used only once when the previous record jackpot of $340 million was reached for the Oct. 19, 2005 drawing. The Match 5 Bonus pool was $32 million, and 49 players across the country each received $653,492 in addition to their prizes for matching the five white balls, but not the red Powerball.
The Match 5 Bonus prize is paid in a single lump sum when won. While the Power Play prize multiplier will apply to the usual game prizes if purchased, it does not apply to the special Match 5 Bonus prizes.
Lingle also reminded players to play responsibly. “A jackpot this big is exciting, and now there’s two growing prize levels. We want players to have fun, but play responsibly. It only takes one ticket to win,” he said.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:146,107,962. Powerball is played in 28 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.