Record Powerball ticket sales for the November 28, 2012 drawing have prompted the group that oversees the game to raise the estimated jackpot from $425 million to $500 million. According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, that makes the Powerball jackpot currently the largest in the world, and the second largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.
If the jackpot is won in the November 28, 2012 drawing and the winner chooses the annuity option, the prize money will be paid out in 30 annual payments. The cash option, about $327 million, is paid in a one-time lump sum payment. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1:175,223,510.
In addition to the jackpot, Powerball is expected to award nearly $50 million in cash prizes from Wednesday's draw. Norm Lingle, executive director of the South Dakota Lottery, is advising players to check their tickets after the draw.
"Even if they don't win the jackpot, they can still win cash prizes between $4 and $2 million. With $50 million in cash prizes expected to be awarded Wednesday, in addition to any jackpot that may be won, we anticipate a high number of winners overall. So check your tickets!" Lingle said.
Players who don't hit the jackpot Wednesday 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.