MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Already the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, the Powerball® jackpot for Saturday, January 9, was boosted again on Friday to an $800 million annuity value or a $496 million cash prize – due to brisk ticket sales.
The jackpot rolled to $675 million on Wednesday night. On Thursday, continuing strong ticket sales pushed it to a $700 million annuity value or a $428.4 million cash prize.
"We are into uncharted territory with this historic jackpot, so please don't wait to buy your ticket," said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. "Some have suggested that it could reach $1 billion if it rolls again -- but considering how many tickets are being sold for Saturday, the chances of another jackpot roll seem slim."
This jackpot has been rolling since the November 4, 2015, drawing. Since then, in Pennsylvania alone, Powerball has produced one $2 million winner, two $1 million winners and nearly 1.2 million winners of over $13.6 million in prizes.
Lottery retailers statewide are reporting brisk ticket sales. Tickets for the next Powerball drawing will be available until 9:59 p.m. on Saturday, January 9. The televised drawing takes place at 11 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida.
If this jackpot is won by a Pennsylvania player, it would become the state's 20th multi-state jackpot win. The Pennsylvania Lottery has sold 17 jackpot-winning Powerball tickets and two jackpot-winning Mega Millions tickets.
The largest Powerball prize Pennsylvania has ever awarded was a $110.2 million cash-value jackpot claimed by a New Jersey couple in May, 2004. The state's largest Powerball group win was a $107.5 million cash jackpot shared by 48 transit workers in the Philadelphia area in April, 2012.
Svitko reminded players that it only takes one ticket to win.
"No matter the jackpot level, we encourage all players to always play responsibly," Svitko added. "A fun way to do that is to pool your ticket purchases with friends or family members, and we offer Pool Play forms on palottery.com that make it easy to manage your pool."
How to play Powerball: Players pay $2 and select five white balls from the first set of 69 numbers plus a single red ball, the Powerball, from a second set of 26 numbers. Players may select their own numbers using a Powerball playslip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks. Players must match all five numbers drawn plus the Powerball number to win the jackpot. There also are eight additional ways for players to win a cash prize.
Purchasing the $1 Power Play option allows a winner to increase lower-tier prizes by a factor of 2, 3, 4 or 5, depending on the Power Play number drawn. A 10X multiplier will be available for the Match 4+1 prize and lower prize tiers when the jackpot is at or below $150 million, or when announced. The jackpot and the Match 5 prize are not multiplied. The Match 5 prize with the Power Play option is worth $2 million. It is $1 million without Power Play.
Powerball is sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In Pennsylvania, tickets are sold until 9:59 p.m. on drawing nights, Wednesday and Saturday.
About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed more than $25.8 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.
The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds players to check every ticket, every time. Players must be 18 or older. Please play responsibly. For help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-848-1880.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lottery Public Relations, 717-702-8008
SOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery