MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanks to strong ticket sales, the Powerball® jackpot today was increased again to a $500 million annuity value, or a $306 million cash prize, for tonight's drawing. It is tied for the game's third-largest advertised jackpot.
The jackpot had rolled to a $400 million annuity value, or $244 million cash prize, after the drawing on Saturday, January 2, produced no jackpot winner. On Tuesday, it was increased to $450 million annuity value, or a $275.4 million cash prize, due to strong ticket sales.
As of 11 a.m. today, the Pennsylvania Lottery reported Powerball tickets were selling at a rate of nearly 4,200 per minute with the rate still increasing.
This jackpot has been rolling since the November 4, 2015, drawing. Since then, in Pennsylvania alone, the game has produced one $2 million winner, two $1 million winners and 772,369 other winners of over $9.9 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. this evening.
The Pennsylvania Lottery advises players to purchase their Powerball tickets early to avoid any last-minute rush and to always play responsibly.
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