NEW YORK — After nearly four months without a big winner, the Powerball jackpot has climbed yet again to an estimated $635 million, making it one of the 10 largest U.S. lottery prizes ahead of Saturday night’s drawing.
The jackpot initially soared to $620 million on Thursday after no winning ticket was sold for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing.
There have been 39 drawings in a row without a Powerball grand prize winner, dating back to the last time someone hit the jackpot on June 5.
While no one has won the jackpot, a Powerball ticket worth $1 million was sold in Brooklyn for Wednesday night’s drawing.
Plus, just last week, a $432 million Mega Millions jackpot ticket was sold at a Midtown Manhattan pizzeria.
While the Powerball jackpot is billed as $635 million, that is the estimate for the annuity option paid over 30 years.
Winners nearly always opt for the cash option, which for Saturday’s drawing will be an estimated $450 million, according to the New York Lottery.
Either way, it’s a huge amount of money, though it’s far from the record prize. That was a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won in 2016 by ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee.
Powerball is played in 45 states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.