The current estimated jackpot in the multi-state Powerball lottery has now reached $1.5 billion.
That means a single winner would have the option of a lump-sum cash payout of an estimated $930 million.
“Jackpot increased because of yesterday’s strong sales,” Kelly Cripe, director of media relations at the Texas Lottery Commission, said in a statement announcing the higher estimated payoff.
Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. No players have correctly selected the six numbers required to win the jackpot in the last 19 drawings dating back to November 11.
Retailers say demand for tickets to the drawing at 10:59 p.m. ET on January 13 has been off the charts, raising the possibility that the payoff could climb even higher.
A $2 ticket has a one in 292.2 million chance of winning the grand prize, Powerball said. That compares with a one in 700,000 chance of being killed by an asteroid in a lifetime, according to astronomers at the Space Science Institute.
Powerball lottery announced the six winning numbers for the record jackpot of $949.8 million on January 9.
The winning numbers were 32-16-19-57-34 and the Powerball number 13. All six numbers must be correct to win, although the first five can be in any order.
There was no winner in Saturday’s drawing as Wednesday’s jackpot is expected to hit $1.3 billion.
Since November 4, the Powerball jackpot has grown from its $40 million starting point as no one has won the jackpot. Such a huge jackpot was just what officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, hoped for last fall when they changed the odds of matching all the Powerball numbers, from about one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million. By making it harder to win a jackpot, the tougher odds made the ever-larger prizes inevitable.