The Historic Powerball Jackpot Hits $1.5 Billion—& Could Go Even Higher

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Update: Following the Powerball drawing on Saturday night, where there was no winner to claim the record $949.8 million prize, the next payout is being estimated at $1.5 billion. The chances of no one winning the Saturday drawing were around 25%.
Update: As of Friday morning, the Powerball jackpot has now reached $800 million. You have until 10:59 p.m. EST on Saturday to get your ticket.

This article was originally published on January 7, 2015.

No one picked the winning numbers for Wednesday night's $500 million Powerball jackpot. That might sounds like bad news if you bought a ticket, but it also means the total prize for Saturday, January 9's drawing is at an all-time high. As of this morning, it was $675 million, but lottery officials predict it will grow to $700 million before the drawing.

Powerball is played in 44 states — just Nevada, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska, and Hawaii don't participate. If you did win the big prize on Saturday night and decided you wanted a lump sum payout, you'd take home around $430 million. Sure, the government just took $270 million, but $430M is still more than most of us have in our bank accounts (unless you're Mark Zuckerberg or Michael Bloomberg).

Unfortunately, the chances of actually winning are infinitesimally small. You've got a 1 in 292,201,338 chance of claiming the jackpot, according to the Powerball website. But a $2 ticket buys you a 1 in 24.87 chance of winning something. If you match four numbers and the Powerball, you can win $50,000. Not too shabby.

Yes, you could argue that it's a total waste of $2 (and we're always telling you to save!), but on a crummy work day, it's fun to sit around and imagine just how you'd spend that $675 million. You could buy a mansion next to Bey's, all the shoes, plan the most elaborate around-the-world vacation, save the whales — the sky's the limit. And hey, if you don't play, you can't win. You never know what could happen.
Advertisement
Advertisement

More from Work & Money

Four years ago, my life was exactly where I wanted it: I was working as a senior editor at a major glossy magazine. My first young adult novel had just ...
After months of waiting and countless discussions about what the future holds for our favorite television characters, Shondaland shows are finally back. ...
Just after my son’s first birthday, I was on the phone with my mom, grappling over a gut-wrenching decision. I was scheduled to go on a business trip but...
Refinery29 joined the Clinton Foundation for a tour of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to get a firsthand look at the experiences of the women and girls who live ...
I get so nervous before job interviews — sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in my stomach. It’s really not fun. But once I’m sitting down with the ...
Fifty percent off your purchase here. 1,000 free miles there. When it comes to credit cards, the benefits are easy to see — while the downsides are often ...
As the host of RIOT's Woke Bae, we already know comedian Phoebe Robinson is funny AF while getting serious about major issues like feminism and ...
You know what's easy? Spending money. It's the best way to get what you want right now. Except...this is not sustainable. Those little luxuries add up ...
If the new phrase for the office BFF is the "work wife," then is a good boss or mentor your "work mom" or "work dad"? Part authority figure, part dispenser...
12:45 p.m. — I have a dryer, rare in Shanghai, so my friend runs home to get his laundry and then does a load at my place
Ah, the job interview. Getting one always feels like a win — your résumé passed the test, and you've moved on to the next round. Writing the cover letter...
Working in the service industry is an easy way to get an (often unwanted!) glimpse into other people's personal lives. Whether you waited tables at a ...
Recently, I was reminiscing about my financial education. Or maybe I should put that in quotes: “financial education.” In 10th grade, we created a budget ...
11 p.m. — Make some more bad decisions and send a text for delivery of some illicit substances but he misses my text, which is probably a good thing ...