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5 things to know about the Powerball jackpot

Top 5 Things To Know About The Powerball Jackpot

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Wednesday's Powerball drawing carries an estimated $400 million jackpot. If no one matches all the numbers, the prize potential will grow before the next drawing on Saturday. Here are five things you should know about Powerball payouts and your odds of winning.


GROWING INTO RECORD TERRITORY: The estimated $400 million jackpot is the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history. Impressive, but it may not hold that record in a few years ... or even a few months. More than half of the 10 largest lottery jackpots have been reached since 2012. That's because major game changes to Powerball and Mega Millions have created larger jackpots in shorter periods of time. So if it seems like we were all just talking about the large, growing jackpot, it's because we were.


ROLLING, ROLLING, ROLLING: Each drawing without a winner rolls the jackpot over and makes it more lucrative. The current jackpot began its ascent at the end of 2013. That means it's rolled over more than a dozen times without a top prize winner. If no one strikes it big on Wednesday, the jackpot only gets bigger.


LET'S SAY YOU WIN: Hold off on that beachfront mansion. Financial experts agree that you should forego large vanity purchases and instead set up annuities and long-term trusts for descendants.


YOU COULD BE A WINNER EVEN IF YOU DON'T WIN THE JACKPOT: You don't have the main Powerball number on your ticket? Don't fret and keep your eyes on those other five numbers. Match those and you could win a $1 million secondary prize or a $2 million secondary "Power Play" prize if you paid an extra dollar when you bought the ticket. More than 1,000 ticketholders have won these secondary prizes since 2012. Not a bad deal.


BUT REALLY, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO WIN: Odds of winning it all are about 1-in-175 million. Officials over the years have noticed the trend that the larger the jackpot, the more interest in the top prize and a surge in players. But remember your odds of winning a jackpot of $40 million is the same as if it were the current estimated $400 million. That's because every time you play, you're still looking to match all five white balls and the red Powerball. The odds of winning don't change as the jackpot escalates, and they change very little even if you buy 10 tickets instead of one.

Join the discussion

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Bill February 19 2014 at 10:31 AM

Winning the Lottery is the best way to find all of those long-lost relatives you haven't heard from in years.

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billmaske February 19 2014 at 12:07 PM

They should have 275, one million dollar prizes. That way 275 people could buy a new house and a new car. 275 people happy and helping the economy.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
2 replies
jflaxpass billmaske February 19 2014 at 12:24 PM

Totally agree! My idea too - is there a reason they can't do that??

Flag Reply +2 rate up
ayyiyicaramba billmaske February 19 2014 at 2:07 PM

NOPE, and here’s why:

Say everyone wins $1,000,000.00;
Lump-sum payment: A little over $500,000.00 [No longer a “millionaire"];
The IRS (Income Redistribution Service) will seek to collect on their top 39.6% tax rate;
Now they’re all left with approx. $302,000.00;

WAIT, there’s more -
Let’s say a few of the winners happen to reside in, say - New York City. Well guess what - both the STATE, and the CITY will also demand they pay income taxes based on their $500,000.00 winnings - NOT - on their remaining $302,000.00.

Yes, $302,000.00 is still a lot of money, BUT it’s nowhere close to being a millionaire. BTW: Have you seen the prices of decent homes/houses today?

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nypd1507 February 19 2014 at 12:08 PM


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3 replies
yrbr75 February 19 2014 at 12:08 PM

A much need article. People should understand the odds of ANY lottery game played. For if, they did, they would understand that the winnings are either luck or a blessing.

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1 reply
dragondancer1814 yrbr75 February 19 2014 at 1:02 PM

One can say the same of trying to find a decent-paying job in this crazy economy! For a lot of people, the odds are about the same!

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hansjade February 19 2014 at 12:15 PM

just let me win. and i'll show you how golden my golden years will be.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
ayyiyicaramba February 19 2014 at 12:28 PM


Anyone else experiencing problems with AOL’s website. Its weird, AOL allowed/permitted me to sign-in, rate and post comments on this THREAD - but NOT on others? What gives? Does the problem lie with my PC (it‘s 7-years old) - or with AOL‘s website?

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4 replies
Mar February 19 2014 at 12:35 PM

If I was to win, I would take care of a lot of poor people. I really don't want to win just for me. At 79
years old. I would have a ball giving most of it to the V.A. and the homeless.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
dragondancer1814 Mar February 19 2014 at 1:01 PM

If my husband and I won, we'd be giving some of the money to the firehouse where we both are volunteer firefighters. Not only do we need a new building, but we now need TWO new tankers (long story) for both our main station and our substation ten miles down the road. I'd also donate some to our town with the stipulation that it be used to build an aquatic center. The nearest public pools that are open during the summer are all a MINIMUM of 12 miles away from our town, and there is literally NOTHING in the way of swimming that is open to the public in the winter! Not only would this be a great way for everyone to get non-impact exercise that is a great body-strengthening workout, but it would also provide a place where children and adults can learn to swim, a community swim team can be formed, and even employment opportunities such as lifeguards, swimming instructors, coaches, etc.

And of course, we'd sock away a bunch for retirement!

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jmfjfe Mar February 19 2014 at 1:05 PM

Then I should give you my phone number...

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selby77 February 19 2014 at 12:59 PM


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2 replies
TOP GUN STAN selby77 February 19 2014 at 1:50 PM

Nothing but thieves themselves.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
TOP GUN STAN selby77 February 19 2014 at 1:51 PM

Nothing but thieves themselves.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
maceara February 19 2014 at 1:11 PM

If the lottery people really wants to give out prices , every time the pot get to be 400, they should have 4 drawings (100 M each) and keep drawing until they know a wining ticket was sold. They know ins tally if there is winning ticket, doing this we would have 4 family very happy.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
me817 February 19 2014 at 1:14 PM

Here's a little eye opener on the odds of winning the Powerball. I was born on August 17, 1945. On January 27, 2014, I was 25, 000 days old. Now multiply that by 24 hours and I'm 600,000 hours old. Now multiply that by 60 minutes and I'm 32 million minutes old. The odds of predicting the exact day, hour and minute that I trip on a curb would be 4.8 times easier than to pick the winning Powerball numbers which is 175 million to one. And, you would have had to predict the trip on the curb on August 17, 1945. Easy, eh ? But it's still fun to dream. Just don't get carried away with buying too many tickets.

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aol~~ 1209600


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