Caption:WESTPORT, CT - JANUARY 09: A sign outside of a Connecticut gas station displays the current winnings in the Powerball lottery on January 9, 2016 in Westport, Connecticut.The $900 million jackpot will be drawn on Saturday evening, If no one wins on Saturday, the prize for the next drawing on Wednesday would reach $1.3 billion, officials announced. (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Where can a billion dollars take you?
In a world where money reigns supreme, the lottery can be a great equalizer.
Powerball, an American lottery game available to be played in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 44 states of the United States, is sending betters in a craze as it hits the highest jackpot to date in years -- $900 million dollars.
Held during Wednesday and Saturday evenings, the game is played by drawing combinations of five white balls from 69 balls and one Powerball from the 26 balls, which then totals to six draws that make one combination. Each play is reported to cost between $2 to $3.
The game's biggest advertised annual jackpot is $40 million but, in 2013, an 84-year-old woman named Gloria MacKenzie broke the record when she won the highest jackpot prize money which totals to more than $500 million dollars.
This year will be looking bright for the winner as he or she may take home almost a billion dollars, which is the biggest Powerball grand prize to date. The lucky recipient will immediately take home $558 million should he or she opt the instant cash payout instead of the installment paid over 29 years, according to a report by Reuters.
The current jackpot is not only the largest prize in the history of Powerball but also the biggest in any of the lottery games in the country. The New York Times reported that the jackpot prize rolled over 19 times from the $40 million initial jackpot from Nov. 7, 2015.
Even those who have not purchased Powerball tickets before cannot ignore the current standing of the jackpot prize.
There were 300 customers reported to have availed of Powerball tickets at Stardust Liquor, Los Angeles, according to Reuters. Dony Elias, its 26-year-old sales attendant, admitted to purchasing a ticket, which is something he has never done before. In addition, he shared what he would do with the prize winnings. "I would take a trip to the moon," he stated, as per Reuters.
California Lottery spokesman Mike Bond revealed that Powerball sales amounted to $2.8 million an hour Saturday morning from the normal $1 million a day ticket sales.
The total jackpot managed to climb to $949.8 million Saturday night and it is expected to exceed a billion dollars should there be no winner. The winning numbers were 32, 16, 19, 57 and 34, and the Powerball was 13, as per NY Times.