(Reuters) – The U.S. Powerball jackpot that will be drawn on Saturday night is the largest lotto prize ever offered at an estimated $1.6 billion, breaking the previous world record the game set in 2016, according to lottery officials.
No one has won the jackpot since Aug. 3, allowing the prize money to mushroom and generating lots of business at gas stations and newsstands around the United States, where Americans buy Powerball tickets for $2 a pop.
To win the big prize, a player must guess all six lucky numbers, including the final “Powerball.” Players have a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning the jackpot, and a 1 in 24.9 chance of winning a smaller prize, according to lottery officials.
Winners may elect to receive their money as an annuity, paid in 30 graduated payments over 29 years, or a lump sum cash payment. Both types of winnings are subject to federal and local taxes.
The drawing will occur at 10:50 p.m. EDT on Saturday (0250 GMT on Sunday) in the Florida state capital of Tallahassee. It will be the 40th Powerball drawing since the Aug. 3 win.
The longest run in the history of the lottery ended on Oct. 4, 2021, when a California ticket holder won a $699.8 million jackpot after 41 drawings.
(Reporting by Julia Harte; editing by Jonathan Oatis)