Jackpot! One ticket holder wins $731 million Powerball; Mega Millions still in play
Published 5:29 am Thursday, January 21, 2021
A single Powerball ticket sold in Maryland is the winner of an estimated $731.1 million jackpot, the first to get the top prize in months.
Thanks to math and bad luck, lottery players had another shot at a giant jackpot Wednesday night that earlier had been estimated at $730 million, but grew even further based on final ticket sales. Following the win, the new jackpot drops to an estimated $20 million for the next drawing Saturday.
The Powerball jackpot was the fifth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever, and it came only a day after nobody won the even-larger Mega Millions prize, which now stands at $970 million.
Winning numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.
It was the first time both lottery jackpots topped $700 million. The biggest prize was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.
No one had won either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.
The prizes listed are for winners who choose an annuity option, paid over 30 years. Most winners opt for cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be $716.3 million and $546.8 million for Wednesday’s Powerball. After the Powerball win, the new jackpot has a $15 million cash value.
Those prizes also would be subject to federal taxes, and most states would take a cut as well.
Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.