The US Powerball jackpot grand prize that could pay out as soon as Saturday has climbed to $1.6 billion, the world’s largest lotto prize ever.
The jackpot has been steadily growing since the grand prize was last won on August 3 in Pennsylvania.
Saturday’s drawing, which will take place at the Florida Lottery studio at 10:59 pm (02:59 GMT), marks the 40th Powerball drawing since the jackpot was last won.
The last Powerball record jackpot occurred in 2016 when tickets in California, Florida and Tennessee shared a $1.586 billion jackpot.
Odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, according to Powerball organizers.
Winning ticket holders aren’t the only ones to get a pay day in the drawing. US tax authorities will take around 40 percent of the jackpot, and state and local authorities may want a share as well.
Any sole Powerball winner could choose to receive a lump sum payment, calculated for Saturday’s jackpot at $782.4 million. Or they could opt for 30 graduated payments over 29 years.
Powerball tickets cost $2 to purchase and are sold in 45 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
To play Powerball, a ticket buyer must choose five different numbers from one to 69, then pick a Powerball number from one to 26.
Then the buyer goes home and dreams big — of mansions, new cars, fancy food and luxury vacations — while waiting for the results of the drawing and the likely letdown afterward.
If no one hits the jackpot in Saturday’s drawing, it will tie the record for the longest stretch without a grand prize.
Prior to the massive 2016 Powerball payout, previous records were set in 2019 in Wisconsin ($768.4 million) and in 2017 in Massachusetts ($758.7 million).