TOPEKA – Fueled by exceptionally strong sales nationwide, the new Powerball jackpot estimate has left the previous record in the dust! The Powerball jackpot for Saturday has been increased to an incredible $800 million annuity, with a cash option of $496 million. That’s the highest Powerball jackpot in history and also the highest jackpot of any lottery game in U.S. history.
No ticket matched all numbers in Wednesday’s drawing, setting the stage for another buying frenzy by Powerball players trying to “win the big one.” Saturday will mark the 19th drawing since the Powerball jackpot was last won Nov. 4 in Tennessee.
As of 1 p.m. Friday, Powerball sales in Kansas had already reached $1.4 million since Wednesday’s drawing, with the busiest sales day anticipated tomorrow. Sales for Wednesday’s drawing were $2.8 million in Kansas, roughly 10 times what would be typical for a Wednesday Powerball drawing with a much smaller jackpot.
“It’s certainly what everyone is talking about,” said Kansas Lottery Executive Director Terry Presta. “People are having a lot of fun with it. With this many tickets being sold we expect to see a lot of winners in Kansas. Remember, there are eight other ways to win in Powerball besides hitting the jackpot. Of course, we’d love to have a jackpot winner too.”
If the jackpot were to be won by a single ticket sold in Kansas, and the winner took the cash option of $496 million, he or she would receive a payment of $347.2 million, after the Lottery withheld federal (25 percent) and state (5 percent) income taxes on the prize.
Donald Damon of Great Bend won a $96.6 million Powerball jackpot in November 2009 and remains Kansas’ largest Powerball winner. The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever hit in Kansas was one third of a $656 million jackpot in March 2012. Until the current jackpot run, that was the U.S. record for highest jackpot. So far, Kansas has had a total of 11 Powerball jackpot winners, five winners of Lotto America (Powerball’s predecessor) jackpots and 6 Hot Lotto jackpot winners.