MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Jan. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history got even bigger when the Powerball® jackpot for the January 9 drawing was increased Saturday morning to a $900 million annuity value or a $558 million cash prize – thanks to strong ticket sales in participating states.
The jackpot initially rolled to $675 million on Wednesday night. On Thursday, brisk ticket sales pushed it to a $700 million annuity value or a $428.4 million cash prize. On Friday, it rose again to an $800 million annuity value or a $496 million cash prize.
"Tickets will remain on sale in Pennsylvania until 9:59 p.m. Saturday, but please play early to make sure you get your chance at winning this historic jackpot," said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. "We always remind players to please play responsibly, no matter the size of the jackpot."
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.
The televised drawing takes place at 11 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida.
If tonight's 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.
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