Wednesday's cash jackpot will be unusually large: $156 million.
Only twice in Powerball history was it higher. The most was $177 million, won by eight Nebraska food-plant workers when the annuity set the game's record of $365 million in February 2006.
The cash reached $164.4 million on Oct. 19, 2005, when the annuity hit $340 million. An Oregon ticket won.
Cash prizes are bigger in relation to annuities these days because today's low interest rates add less income over 30 payments.
Also, Powerball boosted the portion of proceeds that goes into its jackpots when it raised the ticket price to $2 on Jan. 15.
That explains why a November jackpot had a higher annuity amount, $254.2 million, but a smaller cash payout of $151.6 million.
The all-time U.S. record cash prize is $240 million, set in January last year, when the Mega Millions annuity jackpot hit $380 million. (The record annuity of $390 million, set in March 2007, had a smaller cash payout of $233.1 million.)
Mega Millions. The jackpot will be worth $32 million ($23.4 million cash) for Tuesday's drawing, because no one hit all the numbers drawn Friday night: 7, 19, 21, 49 and 53, with a Mega Ball of 35.
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and 38 other states offer both games.
For more on lotteries, go to www.philly.com/philly/news/lottery, www.palottery.com, or www.njlottery.net.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.