Powerball Jackpot Skyrockets to $700M, Fifth Highest in History

by Shelby Scott
(Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a reason to purchase a lottery ticket, here’s your sign. The Powerball Jackpot, one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, has skyrocketed to $700 million. That astronomical total makes it the fifth-highest jackpot in Powerball history. Be sure to score your tickets today as the drawing takes place later tonight at 10:59 p.m. EST.

According to the Daily Mail, Wednesday night’s massive Powerball Jackpot comes after 35 straight drawings without a single winner. The outlet states the jackpot soared to $700 million after Monday night’s drawing lacked a player with six winning numbers.

As many lottery ticket holders know, Powerball Jackpot players have two options for bringing home their cash—if they, by some miracle, do hold six winning numbers. The first option, and the most popular, is the cash option. This option allows the lucky player to go home with their lump sum of winnings after taxes are taken out. Most players opt for the cash sum. However, it significantly reduces a person’s winnings, dropping the jackpot total by 30%. Wednesday night’s lump-sum payout amounts to $336 million.

The second option for Wednesday night’s lucky Powerball Jackpot winner is the annuity option. The annuity option sees the player paid in installments over a period of 29 years. This significantly drops overall taxes on the jackpot winnings, however, leaves the player taking home much less than their overall cash winnings.

How Wednesday’s Powerball Jackpot Compares to Some of the Highest in History

Though there is still a chance that Wednesday night’s Powerball Jackpot could see another increase, it still has a ways to go before becoming the fourth-highest amount in Powerball history.

According to the news outlet, Wednesday’s already impressive winnings would have to surge by $31.2 million before claiming the fourth-place spot in the game’s 30-year history. Still, Powerball’s current jackpot represents the largest of the year and has also made its mark on a national scale.

In overall U.S. lottery history, the Wednesday night Powerball prize marks the eighth-highest in history. Powerball brass confirmed those statistics in a press release.

Meanwhile, the Powerball Jackpot has been up for grabs for months. There hasn’t been a series of six winning numbers within the game since August 3rd, with the winner, a ticketholder in Pennsylvania, playing for more than $200 million.

Truthfully, $200 million is nothing to sneeze at, however, compared to the current Powerball Jackpot, we’re sure players are turning out in droves. And that means chances of winning are becoming even slimmer. Per the outlet, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than you ever are of winning the lottery. People have a 1-in-15,000 chance of being struck by lightning while they have a much less likely 1-in-192-million chance of winning the lottery.