The jackpot climbed to $1.2 billion after no one matched all six numbers to win the jackpot. That makes 38 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner since the last person won the big prize on Aug. 3.
The jackpot grows after every drawing without a winner and now is approaching the record of $1.586 billion won by three Powerball players in 2016. The second- and third-largest prizes were hit by players of the Mega Millions lottery game.
“I think it would be close to being a record if not a record," said Drew Svitko, the Pennsylvania Lottery's executive director. “The record of $1.586 billion that we had back in 2016 is within reach, but it really depends on a couple factors."
The first factor is the number of tickets sold, and they are flying out of lottery machines throughout the country.
For the Monday night drawing, there were 131.6 million Powerball plays sold, said Anna Domoto, a spokeswoman for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which oversees the game. That amounted to 36.3% of all possible number combinations being covered, as millions of players picked the same numbers.
That's a lot, but considering the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, that means about 186 million number combinations weren't covered, which is why no one won the grand prize.
Although the focus of the game is on the $1.2 billion prize, that is the amount for an annuity, doled out over 29 annual payments. Nearly all winners choose a cash prize, which would be $596.7 million.
Still, the advertised prize is based on the annuity, and that's where the second factor in determining the jackpot comes in as higher interest rates cause annuities to grow more quickly. Put another way, the $596.7 million in cash is funneled into investments that will eventually pay out $1.2 billion, and those investments grow faster as interest rates rise.
“We use investments to fund the annuity to pay that prize, so the investments rely on interest and the degree to which interest rates effect the value of those investments also effect that jackpot," Svitko said.
Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
What time is the Powerball drawing?
The drawing will take place on Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern (9:59 p.m. Central Time, 8:59 p.m. Mountain Time, 7:59 p.m. Pacific Time)
What days are the Powerball drawing?
Back in Aug. 2021, Powerball shifted to three drawings a week in an effort to build larger prizes and boost sales. The drawings currently happen every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
How late can you buy Powerball tickets?
The cut-off times for buying Powerball tickets vary by state. Usually, it's within one or two hours of the scheduled drawing. However, you should check with your local lottery. Tickets cost $2 per play.
What are the largest US lottery jackpots ever won?
1. $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)
2. $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018 (one ticket, from South Carolina)
3. $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022 (one ticket, from Illinois)
4. $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021 (one ticket, from Michigan)
5. $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019 (one ticket, from Wisconsin)
6. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)
7. $731.1 million, Powerball, Jan. 20, 2021 (one ticket, from Maryland)
8. $699.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 4, 2021 (one ticket, from California)
9. $687.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 27, 2018 (two tickets, from Iowa and New York)
10. $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)