News / USA

    No Powerball Winner, Jackpot Likely to Hit $1.3 Billion

    Host Sam Arlen speaks as the winning Powerball numbers are about to be drawn at the Florida Lottery studio in Tallahassee, Florida, Jan. 9, 2016.
    Host Sam Arlen speaks as the winning Powerball numbers are about to be drawn at the Florida Lottery studio in Tallahassee, Florida, Jan. 9, 2016.
    VOA News

    The already staggering U.S. "Powerball" jackpot is expected to top a record $1 billion after none of the tickets sold matched all six numbers (32, 16, 19, 57, 34, and Powerball 13) from Saturday's drawing.  

    The odds of winning the $949.8 million jackpot was 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the draw.

    Millions of Americans who spent their hard-earned money on the multi-state lottery with dreams of becoming an instant millionaire will likely go online or flock to their neighborhood Powerball ticket sellers in 44 states, Washington, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for a chance to win next Wednesday's drawing, which is expected to reach $1.3 billion by the time the winning numbers are announced.

    A sign displays the estimated Powerball lottery jackpot amount at a gas station in Dallas, Texas, Jan. 9, 2016.
    A sign displays the estimated Powerball lottery jackpot amount at a gas station in Dallas, Texas, Jan. 9, 2016.

    The lottery has continued to grow as no one has owned the winning combination in a succession of drawings going back to early November, when it stood at $40 million. Powerball drawings are held twice a week.

    The lucky winner could choose to receive annual payments over the next 30 years, or a one-time, lump sum payment - minus the 39 percent federal income tax imposed on all winnings, plus any state and local taxes.

    The biggest lottery jackpot ever won in the United States happened in March 2012 when three ticket holders in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland shared $656 million in the Mega Millions lottery.  The biggest Powerball jackpot won was $590 million in May 2013 by a ticket buyer in Florida, according to the Associated Press.

    Even people who do not normally feel inclined to play said they didn't want to lose this opportunity.

    "When the jackpot gets that large, you have no choice but to play it, in my mind,” said Kevin Ramseur during his lunch hour in Washington, D.C. “I rarely play the lotto, the lottery or the Powerball, but when the jackpot gets over $300 million, I usually buy a few tickets."

    Slim, slim, slim odds

    The odds of winning were 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the draw. Statisticians say it is easier to get hit by lightning while simultaneously drowning.

    Customers wait in line to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2016.
    Customers wait in line to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2016.

    Despite the tiny, minimal, almost impossible likelihood of winning the lottery, many people are to spending their cash on tickets.

    "I would pay off my husband's student loan debt, mine, my brother's. I'd buy my parents a house, maybe one for me," said Alicia Swenson, who had just gotten a ticket.

    Other people say the jackpot is far too much money for one person.

     "To be honest with you, I'd probably give most of it away," said Anthony Jenkins, adding that there are hundreds of people in need who he could help.

    Most people, however, have a wide-ranging list of ways to splurge.

    Michelle Jerman is one of them. She said the first thing she would do is pay Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to drop out of the race. But then ...

    "I want to buy a house, an island, some cars,” she said. “I want to buy a college for my daughter… and I want to name it after her. Maybe a few shopping malls."

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mark from: Australia
    January 13, 2016 12:50 PM
    The website is very slow and there is no record for the power ball numbers you played .

    by: Vivian from: South Carolina
    January 11, 2016 1:54 PM
    I would set up dental clinics across the US to help children, the disabled and the poor with dental care so they don't have to have their teeth pulled but could get the problems addressed properly.

    by: Judith Perrott
    January 11, 2016 6:35 AM
    can people who don't live in the USA buy a ticket or not thanks from NEW ZEALAND

    by: Lisa from: Lake Ridge, VA
    January 10, 2016 11:31 AM
    A lot of good things can be done with this money for the people and the unfortunate of the world. I hope that the winner will do good things with the money.

    by: Sherry Rains
    January 10, 2016 9:38 AM
    If I would to win this lottery I would donate some to all the schools is the US and then I would help all the less fortunate too. Also would buy a clinic and give the children and elderly free medical treatments. I would buy me a home and a car and put my kids and grand kids through college. I know how it feels to be homeless with no job, no food, and no where to stay dry and warm, so helping people has always been a dream of mine. Well I have always been told my heart it to big and people has always used me but I feel better about myself when I am doing for others.

    by: Ricardo from: Brazil
    January 09, 2016 12:17 PM
    For me, being American is one of the greatest blessings a person can have.

    I know I can never be a Native American, but if I won the lottery I would use the money to get a permanent visa and living in Miami, Florida. If I got this money, I would give my contribution to make the US an even better country to live.
    In Response

    by: ron butler from: Canada
    January 09, 2016 8:08 PM
    WHERE CAN I BUY LOTTO TICKET ON LINE

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