Powerball jackpot boosted to offer record cash

Posted: August 15, 2012

Powerball's already giant jackpot just got richer, enough to leapfrog the old cash record, just set in this year.

The new fortune up for grabs on Wednesday night: $320 million for the annuity (up $15 million from Monday), $213.3 for the cash (up $10 million).

Not because of a drawing. Because of soaring sales.

It also helps that the competition, Mega Millions, is offering a relatively puny $36 million, $27 million cash, for tonight's drawing.

The only larger Powerball annuity in the last six years was $336.4 million in February. A Rhode Island woman who had the single winning ticket instead took the game's new record for cash: $210 million. Less taxes, of course.

In just one week, the top annuity prize, payable in 30 yearly checks, has risen by $108 million.

If this one rolls over, expect a new Powerball record, possibly shattering the $365 million annuity hit eight Nebraska food-plant workers in February 2006.

That one paid $177.3 million in cash.

Mega Millions set the all-time lottery jackpot mark in March, when the annuity soared to $656 million, the cash to $471 million. It was divvied up by winners in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas.

For news about big Pennsylvania and New Jersey winners in recent drawings, see "2 Delco tickets score, as Powerball jackpot soars" at http://ow.ly/cY6M3.

For more on lotteries, go to www.philly.com/philly/news/lottery, www.powerball.com or www.megamillions.com.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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