Powerball jackpot, already at record $500M, could grow - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Powerball jackpot, already at record $500M, could grow

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A billboard shows the Powerball jackpot stands at $500 million  (Credit: Fox 2 News) A billboard shows the Powerball jackpot stands at $500 million (Credit: Fox 2 News)

By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- The Powerball jackpot currently stands at $500 million.  That number is expected to go up before the big drawing on Wednesday night.

It's already the biggest jackpot in Powerball history.  Your chances to win are about one in 175 million.    

This lottery has also defied the odds, rolling over a whopping 16 times without anyone hitting the jackpot.

Lottery hopefuls on Tuesday were feeling generous with their potential earnings.  The lump sum payout is $327 million.

"10 percent to the church, tithes and offering, all of that, and everybody would be happy," one said.

"Give a lot to charity, my temple," another remarked.

"There would be no more working.  I know that's number one," another person told us.

The big rush of people buying tickets is expected on Wednesday, which means the jackpot could get even bigger.

Of the $2 cost of a Powerball ticket, $1 goes to the prizes and the other dollar is kept by the state lottery organization, said Norm Lingle, chairman of the Powerball Game Group. After administrative overhead is paid, the remaining amount goes to that state's beneficiary programs.

Some states designate specific expenditures such as education, while others deposit the money in their general fund to help supplement tax revenue.

The federal government keeps 25 percent of the jackpot for federal taxes.

Most states withhold between 5 percent and 7 percent. There's no withholding in states without a state income tax such as Delaware, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas. A New York City winner would pay more than 12 percent since the state takes 8.97 percent and the city keeps 3.6 percent.

Powerball and Mega Millions games are seeing jackpots grow faster and higher in part because the states that play both games agreed in 2010 to sell to one another.

Both games are now played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands. The larger pool of players means jackpots roll over to higher numbers faster, which tends to increase the buzz about the jackpots which increases sales. It all can result in higher jackpots sooner.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

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