Lottery players again failed to pick the correct six numbers to win the Powerball jackpot Wednesday night, so $625 million will be up for grabs in the March 23 drawing. The one-time cash payout for Saturday’s Powerball drawing will be an estimated $380.6 million. The jackpot for the next drawing is the fourth largest Powerball jackpot on record, game officials said Thursday, and the seventh largest in U.S. lottery history.
The Powerball numbers for March 20 were: 10, 14, 50, 53, 63, and the Powerball of 21.
“A lot like the flowers in the southwest, this $625 million Powerball jackpot is a spectacular super bloom,” said David Barden, Powerball chairman, in a news release. “It does not happen often – and when it does, everyone wants to be a part of it. It is fun to dream how this jackpot could change lives.”
Lottery officials are reminding players to check their tickets for ways to win smaller prizes. In Wednesday’s drawing, four tickets matched all five white balls, but missed matching the red Powerball to win a $1 million prize. Those tickets were sold in Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey and South Carolina. Two other tickets, both sold in South Carolina, matched all five white balls and doubled the prize to $2 million, because the tickets included the Power Play option for an additional $1. In total, there were more than 2.7 million winning tickets across all prize tiers.
The Powerball jackpot was last hit in New York in the December 26 drawing, the chairman said.
What time are the winning Powerball numbers drawn? Numbers are selected every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time, with Powerball results typically posted within five minutes.
In most states, ticket sales stop at least an hour before the drawing, but a state may cut off sales earlier, such as Illinois, which ends sales three hours before the drawing. In Maryland and New Jersey, ticket sales end at 9:59 p.m.; in Virginia, they close at 10 p.m. Check with your state lottery for the sales cut-off time.
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The largest Powerball jackpot in history was $1.586 billion, which was shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016. Someone in South Carolina claimed the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot on Oct. 23, 2018.
The largest Powerball jackpots ever are:
The Powerball game is played by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball number. The odds of picking the correct Powerball grand prize numbers are one in 292,201,338. Powerball tickets cost $2 each, and are sold at thousands of Lottery retailers. Find out where you can buy your Powerball tickets here.
You have a better chance of hitting the jackpot if you let the computer pick your numbers, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates the Powerball game and reports that about 75 percent of winning tickets have numbers chosen by a computer.
When millions more players take part in the game at times there’s a huge jackpot, that doesn’t change your odds of winning, the lottery says. The odds of winning a prize are the same in every Powerball drawing — you have a 1 in 24.9 chance of winning a prize when the jackpot reaches $40 million or $1 billion.
The lottery game is played in 44 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball drawings can be seen on 125 TV stations nationwide. They may also be available on cable or your mobile device. Drawing shows are also posted to Powerball.com under the video section and to YouTube.
Claiming, Safeguarding Winnings
So, what should you do if you are lucky enough to claim the Powerball jackpot? Many lottery winners hire an attorney, financial planner or both, since most people don’t exactly know what to do when they suddenly come into so much money. Some even bring their lawyer with them to claim their prize. The lottery does not offer counseling services or financial advice for winners.
You have two choices when you claim your prize: the full value paid in 30 installments over 29 years, or a one-time lump sum that is smaller than the actual total. Then there are the taxes. The federal tax on lottery winnings is 25 percent. Then, any extra income taxes like state or city would apply.
Financial experts suggest that if you can get more than a 3 or 4 percent return on an investment, the lump sum is actually the best way to go in the long-term.