Powerball jackpot hits $700 million — second largest in U.S. history

Posted: 3:26 PM, Aug 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-22 15:26:36-04

The Powerball jackpot keeps climbing.

Lottery officials say the grand prize for Wednesday night’s drawing has reached $700 million — the second-largest on record for any U.S. lottery game.

The prize pool has been growing since June 10, the last time somebody won. The most recent drawing was Saturday.

The chance of picking all six winning Powerball numbers is about one in 292 million. The game has become even more difficult to win since an October 2015 rule change.

The jackpot still has to grow quite a bit to become the biggest in American history. A $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot was claimed by three winning tickets after the drawing on January 13, 2016.

New Jersey players have won millions of dollars during the 21 drawing run. There have been two $1,000,000 and 27 $50,000 prizewinning tickets sold. In total, 1,080,889 New Jersey Lottery tickets won a total of $9,433,291.

Perhaps Wednesday’s drawing will bring the jackpot home to New Jersey. The New Jersey Lottery has had seven jackpot winning tickets for six draws (two NJ tickets received a share of one jackpot) since adding Powerball in January 2010. New Jersey’s most recent win was on May 7, 2016 when the Smith Family won $429.6 million with a cash value of $284 million. They have created the Smith Family Foundation to assist people in the Trenton area and abroad with education and other good causes.

“The excitement and public awareness created by the increased jackpot is a good time to remind players to play responsibly. Yearlong, the New Jersey Lottery promotes responsible play through its cooperation with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ and by promoting the helpline 1-800-GAMBLER® phone number on all Lottery marketing and advertising material. I will once again remind players to bet with their heads and not over it, “said Carole Hedinger, executive director, New Jersey Lottery.