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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Powerball climbs to $1.2 billion, third-largest jackpot ever

Powerball play slips are displayed in a convenience store on July 18, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Jami Ganz New York Daily News

The summer of largely winless Powerball drawings continues into the fall as the jackpot hits an estimated $1.2 billion for Wednesday’s drawing.

It will be the 33rd since the last big jackpot winner.

The uptick – the third-largest prize in Powerball history – comes after Monday’s $1.04 billion drawing, during which no tickets matched all of the winning digits, according to the lotto’s website.

If there is a winner on Wednesday, they will have the choice of taking a cash prize of $551.7 million, or an estimated $1.2 billion annuitized prize. Either option is pre-tax.

The latest drawing did churn out some smaller prize winners. In New York and South Carolina, two players won $2 million for matching all five white balls with the Power Play feature included, according to Powerball. There were also two newly minted winners of $1 million prizes, .in Delaware and Michigan, whose tickets matched all five white balls.

History was made when no one won Saturday’s drawing, pushing the jackpot past the billion-dollar mark. Powerball says it was the first time since the game’s 1992 debut, with 15 states participating, that the grand prize has hit at least $1 billion in consecutive jackpot cycles, according to the game’s site.

Just 1 in 292.2 million tickets are statistically likely to match the grand prize numbers, according to Powerball, which could explain why a grand prize winner was last crowned in California on July 19. That whopping $1.08 billion jackpot was awarded to a single ticket holder.

Before Wednesday’s jackpot was announced, the July win was the fourth-largest prize in the three-decade history of the Powerball. A single ticket, once again in California, claimed the highest-ever jackpot last November for an incredible $2.04 billion. The second-largest was in 2016, when a jackpot worth $1.586 billion was split between tickets purchased in California, Florida and Tennessee.