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Powerball Jackpot Tops $900 Million, Could Hit $1 Billion By Tonight

Submitted by on January 9, 2016 – 11:23 amNo Comment

With the jackpot topping $900 million, heading towards $1 billion, and eager gamblers racing for a ticket, both the Powerball payout and sales are making new records. The next drawing is tonight at 10:59pm EST.

No one has one the twice weekly drawings since early November, when the pot started at $40 million. It has increased more rapidly as more people have bought tickets.

Powerball is conducted between 44 states and several US territories. Tickets cost $2, and sales are cut off no later than 59 minutes before the drawing, though it varies by state.

According to the Powerball website, grand prize winners can claim their money in a lump sum, or in an annuity that earns interest:

The jackpot – won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball – is either an annuitized prize paid out over 29 years (30 payments counting the first immediate payment) or a cash lump sum payment. If you choose the cash, then you get the cash, pay the tax, and can invest what is left over. If you choose the annuity, then we can invest the cash amount pre-tax, less an immediate first payment (more to invest means more earnings). With the annuity, you get an annual payment that is increased by 5% each year to keep up with the cost of living.

The odds of winning are one in 292.2 million, though odds of winning any of the (much) smaller prizes (as in, $20) are about one in 25.

Will you play in tonight’s drawing? Let us know in the comments below.

[via AL.com]

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