(Pierre) – High ticket sales for the February 11, 2012 Powerball drawing have prompted the group that oversees the game to raise the estimated jackpot to $325 million annuity. According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, the cash jackpot is at a record $202.9 million, the highest ever for Powerball.
If the jackpot is won in the February 11, 2012 drawing and the winner chooses the annuity option, the prize money will be paid out in 30 annual payments. The cash option is paid in a one-time lump sum payment. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1:175,223,510. The biggest jackpot won to date in the game was a $365 million prize split by eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant in February of 2006.
This is the largest Powerball jackpot offered since the enhanced Powerball game was implemented January 15, 2012. Among the changes in the enhanced game are better odds of winning, a second prize of $1 million (up from $200,000 previously), and an increase in the price per play, from $1 to $2. The enhanced game also promoted more millionaires; 21 Powerball millionaires have been created nationwide since mid-January.
Players who don’t hit the jackpot Saturday night can still pocket bigger prizes if they purchase the Power Play option for an additional $1 when they buy a Powerball ticket. Tickets that have the Power Play option and match all five white-ball numbers but not the red Powerball will win $2 million automatically.
Powerball tickets can be purchased at any Lottery retailer until 9:00 p.m. CT/8:00 p.m. MT the night of the drawing. South Dakota Lottery officials remind those purchasing tickets to please play responsibly.
Powerball is played in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.