$900 million Powerball jackpot is biggest ever for Saturday’s drawing
The New Jersey Lottery has announced that Saturday’s $900 million Powerball jackpot is the largest jackpot ever-- not only in the United States but in the world.
Judy Drucker, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Lottery, said the lure of the biggest payout ever has created unprecedented numbers of ticket buyers. "Many, many people are playing," she said, including "casual players” who play only when the jackpot swells to gigantic numbers.
The jackpot has grown substantially since Wednesday's drawing, which started off at $675 million. As of Friday, people were buying tickets at the rate of $1 million and $1.3 million per hour, compared to an average day, when sales would be around $15,000 per hour, said Drucker. The cash value of the jackpot is currently $558 million, but depending on Saturday’s sales, the final jackpot could come close to $1 billion, she said.
So what are your odds of winning?
With 75% of all possible combinations having been selected for Saturday's national drawing, the odds of matching five numbers and the Powerball stand at 1-in-292 million, Drucker said.
Not great odds. But players can increase the value of smaller tiered prizes by checking off the multiplier on their tickets, she said. "If you’re going to play, you might as well go for the biggest prize you can."
A survey of Cumberland Farms customers reveled that most lottery players are not superstitious about which numbers they play – though many are sentimental. 38% of respondents said they choose their numbers based on significant birthdays, while 11% choose their wedding date or other important anniversaries. When asked whom they would call if they won, 46% of respondents said their significant other, while 10% said their lawyer.
The Powerball numbers will be drawn at 11 p.m. on Saturday night.