Des Moines, Iowa: A ticket sold in Wisconsin won the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history on Wednesday night.
The lucky numbers for the $768.4 million jackpot were 16, 20, 37, 44, 62 and Powerball 12. The top prize surged from an estimated $750 million due to strong ticket sales.
The lump sum payout is $477 million.
“It’s going to be a very green spring for our first Powerball jackpot winner of 2019,” David Barden, Powerball Product Group chairman and New Mexico Lottery CEO, said in a statement. “A jackpot of this size can make many dreams come true — not just for the winner, but for all Lottery beneficiaries and the lucky state of Wisconsin.”
The Powerball jackpot had grown since December, when a ticket sold in New York won an estimated $298.3 million. The jackpot resets to $40 million for Saturday’s drawing.
The odds of hitting Wednesday’s prize — the largest lottery jackpot of 2019 — was 1 in about 292 million according to Powerball. But Powerball says 1 in every 24.87 tickets wins a prize, starting at $4.
In the previous drawing eight tickets won $1 million prizes and another two scored $2 million. Tickets cost $2 each, or $3 if players choose to multiply non-jackpot prizes with Power Play.
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Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some lotteries sell Powerball tickets online, but only to residents of the jurisdiction. Residents of the six states that don’t play — Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah — could throw their hat in the ring by traveling to another state.
The only jackpots larger than Wednesday’s include the world record $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot in January 2016 shared by winners in California, Colorado and Tennessee.
A woman from South Carolina anonymously claimed the second biggest prize of a $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot last October. And in August 2017, a Massachusetts hospital worker’s pipe dream came true when she won a $758.7 million Powerball prize.
How late can you play Powerball?
Sales cut off at least 59 minutes before the drawing, according to the Multi-State Lottery Commission. But cut-off times can be earlier depending on the state, so it’s best to check your state’s lottery commission. Wednesday’s drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m. ET.
Odds of winning
The odds of winning a jackpot remain abysmal at 1 in 302 million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball. You are 25,000 times more likely to hit a hole-in-one than you are of winning a Powerball jackpot.
Where can you play Powerball?
Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Who buys lotto tickets?
About two-thirds of Americans gamble. Last year, they spent $72.97 billion on traditional lottery tickets, according to Gallup.
On average, that’s $206.69 per person. “Our obsession with lotteries, with gambling, is that unicorn feeling of, like, ‘maybe it’ll be me,'” CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger said. She points out that some people don’t necessarily play to win.
“They just want to take a moment out of their day to consider how to dream big,” Schlesinger said.
The average American spends about $223 per year on lottery tickets, according to a survey from LENDedu. Massachusetts residents have the biggest taste for playing the odds, spending almost $763 per year on lottery tickets, the study found. North Dakotans are on the opposite end of the spectrum, spending about $44 per year on the lottery, or the lowest average figure among residents of all 50 states.