Powerball hikes jackpot to $325M; record cash tops $200M

Posted: February 10, 2012

Powerball was enormous, but now it's more so.

Spurred by heavy sales - at $2 a ticket - the jackpot was raised this afternoon to $325 million.

And the drawing's not till Saturday night.

The advertised prize, payable in 30 annual installments, is the third biggest in the history of the game.

The cash payout, already a Powerball record, is now $202.9 million.

If this jackpot doesn't get hit, expect to see history: the first annuity to reach $400 million.

Just one more $75 million jump is needed - the same boost the jackpot has now seen since no one won Wednesday's $250 million prize.

Two days ago.

Powerball has now gone up $125 million in a single week.

Apparently, raising the price to $2 a ticket on Jan. 15 hasn't hurt the dollar haul.

The $325 million jackpot, payable in 30 yearly payments, is the ninth biggest for any U.S. lottery.

The record for any U.S. annuity jackpot was $390 million, set in March 2007 by Mega Millions. A Cape May County, N.J., couple and a Georgia trucker split the cash: $233.1 million.

Only one drawing ever paid more cash: Mega Millions paid out $240 million (less taxes) to two winners, in Idaho and Washington State, who hit on Jan. 4, 2011. That drawing had the second biggest annuity ever, $380 million.

Powerball's biggest annuity ever, $365 million, won in February 2006 by food-plant workers in Nebraska, set the all-time record for a win by a single ticket.

But the cash the winners collected - $177 million - is no longer Powerball's high mark.

Forty-one states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, offer both Powerball and Mega Millions.

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 pmucha@phillynews.com.


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