It doesn’t seem that long ago when the multi-state lotteries Powerball and Mega Millions combined for nearly $1.75 billion. In just two months, they have both quietly crept back up to more than a quarter billion dollars combined, and Powerball leads the way this time.
There was no grand prize winner from last Saturday’s 03/13/21 Powerball jackpot, meaning the next Powerball jackpot for 03/17/21 is already estimated at $184 million. Should a winning ticket hit all five white balls and the red Powerball this Wednesday and find luck of the Irish, then the game will reset to $20 million. If no one hits the jackpot, then Powerball would likely hit $200 million by this weekend.
That’s not a bad payout during a time when $1,400 stimulus payments dominate headlines.
A Powerball ticket sold in Texas during September 2019.Scott McDonald/Newsweek
Powerball had a crazy run of three grand prize winners in a period of four drawings. The first was a ticket sold in Maryland that hit the $731.1 million jackpot on Wednesday 01/20/21. The game reset to the $20 million minimum. Although there was a single grand prize winner for the next drawing on 01/23/21, there were 43 other tickets that night that hit the second prize (all five white balls and missing the red Powerball) for at least $1 million. In all, there were 44 million-dollar tickets on the night of a $23 million prize.
Then, another Powerball ticket hit just two drawings later. There hasn’t been a winner since the January 27 drawing.
Meanwhile with the Mega Millions drawing, that jackpot has worked its way back to nearly $100 million. The 03/16/21 Mega Millions jackpot this Tuesday is at $93 million, with a cash option worth $62.7 million.
Less than two months ago, there was a ticket sold in Michigan worth more than $1 billion. That jackpot started before the presidential election and lasted until inauguration when a drawing worth $1.05 billion was won. Since then, the game has been won and reset.
Powerball is a multi-state lottery played every Wednesday and Saturday, and one of America’s two biggest lottery jackpot games. Powerball jackpots start at $20 million, and other prizes pay from $1 million to $2 million with a Power Play. Tickets are $2. You can check the numbers for tonight, or any past winning numbers, on the official Powerball website.
There are nine ways to win money during the Powerball. Just getting the powerball with no other numbers pays out $4, and even more if the power play is bought for an extra dollar. The same payout goes for one ball plus the powerball, and $7 is the payout for two correct numbers with the powerball, or three correct numbers and no powerball.
If all five white, numbered balls are chosen but the red Powerball is not correct, then the payout is $1 million, with an even higher payout if the power play is chosen.
The odds of hitting the grand prize jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338, regardless of the jackpot size—according to Powerball’s website.
The other multi-state lottery is Mega Millions, which is played on Tuesdays and Fridays. Like Powerball, the jackpot is reset at $20 million after a jackpot is won, and one line of numbers is $2, with a $1 option to multiply their winnings with a Megaplier. Here is the Mega Millions website for more information, or to check any potential past numbers.