UPDATE: Powerball Jackpot Soars to Record $1.4 Billion

No Winners in Last Wednesday's Drawing Means Next Prize Will Be Largest in WORLD History

UPDATE MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016: As Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker reminded us in The Social Network: A million dollars isn't cool, you know what's cool?  A billion dollars.  Or, at this point, $1.4 billion.  Because no one won the $900 million jackpot last Saturday, the prize has rolled over to world record levels.  And because the next drawing isn't until Wednesday night, expect and even bigger world record, with some estimates placing the possible prize at $1.6 to 1.8 billion.  

UPDATE THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016:The jackpot for Saturday's Powerball drawing jumped $100 million in onne day!  It is now an estimated $800 million, quickly closing in on the billion dollar mark.  Lucky winner(s) can take a cash option of $496 million, before taxes, or the full $800million in an annuity that would pay out over 30 years.

You have to play to win, they say.  Well, millions played... but nobody won.  Not the big prize, anyway.  What started as the 6th largest jackpot in US history at $524 million is now the 1st.  It is an estimated $700 million as of Thursday morning.  That number is expected to rise with some predicting that, if no one wins the next drawing, the prize could hit... get ready for it... a billion dollars!   And the higher the jackpot, statistically, the more people rush out to play.  There is no limit on how many times the jackpot can roll over.

In case you missed it: last night's numbers were: 2, 11, 47, 62, 63 with the Powerball number 17.  The odds of winning, according to lottery officials, is 1 in 292.2 million.

The payout, according to the Powerball website, would have been $428.4 million before taxes.  You might want to check your tickets anyway, though; 15 tickets won between $1 and $2 million.  The winners were in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

The previous record was held by the Mega Millions lottery.  That jackpot was $656 million back on March 20th, 2012 and was won by .  The previous Powerball record was $590 million last in March, 2013 and was won by Gloria Mackenzie, an 84 year old Florida woman.She opted for a lump sum payment of $370 million before taxes.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  The next drawing will be Saturday night.  

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