- The jackpot amount has exceeded the $400 million mark three times this year – once in June and once in February, prior to this time
- Odds are slim of winning; you are likelier to be struck by lightning
Yesterday, Casinopedia reported that the U.S. Powerball jackpot had risen to over $700 million.
And today, the news has broken that a player based in Massachusetts has become an incredibly lucky winner.
This prize will mark North America’s biggest ever Powerball prize giveaway – and presumably the shattering of dreams of millions of people.
On Wednesday, $758.7 million in total was won by the holder of a Powerball ticket now thought to have bought it from the Handy Variety convenience store in the town of Chicopee, MA.
Originally, it was thought that this lucky ticket was bought in Watertown, MA, but Lottery authorities have since denied this claim.
This ticket holder matched the Powerball numbers – which were 6, 7, 16, 23, and 26, with 4 as the Powerball – exactly. However, at present, it is unclear as to whether the winner is an individual or a group of people working together.
Regardless of this, the full amount will not be given to the player, as lottery winnings in the U.S. are taxed in a similar way to income. The International Revenue Service (IRS) will tax 39.6% on the top income bracket, with the country’s government hanging on to a quarter of the total before it’s even given to the lucky player.
That being said, the amount of $758.7 will be made available to the player should they wish to be paid out their winnings over 30 years, in set annual payments of much smaller amounts.
However, the majority of big-money-winners opt to take the total amount in one go. In this case, that would reduce the winnings to just $480.5 million.
But it won’t only be that winner who walks away with a great deal of cash. It is estimated that several players will have won $1 million or more, by matching five of the Powerball numbers.
At the other end of the spectrum, players with just one number correct – the Powerball itself – can win $4.
It is also thought that 9.4 million other people who bought winning tickets will be owed $135 million in prize money split across them, but many never come forward to claim their winnings.
So far this year, the US Powerball jackpot has hit and exceeded $400 million twice. In June, one player scooped up $448 million, while somebody else won $435 million back in February.
And on a whopping scale, the only time that over $1 billion ($1.6 billion) was ever given away by the Powerball was back in January 2016, and on that occasion it was shared equally between three players residing in California, Florida, and Tennessee.
The only states in which Powerball is not available are Alabama, Alaska, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, and Mississippi.
What are the odds?
To land a Powerball jackpot, the odds are extremely slim. And due to a rule amendment in October 2015, winning it became even harder. In fact, the likelihood of matching all six numbers is around 1 in 292 million.
To put that into context, you literally have a higher chance of drowning and being struck by lightning simultaneously (with odds of 1 in 183 million), having quadruplets (with a 1 in 729,00 chance), or even being hit by an asteroid (with odds of 1 in 700,000).
In fact, Casinopedia compared the lottery with online casino play in this article.
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