It’s the ultimate get-rich-quick scheme. Just plunk down two dollars and you can walk away a billionaire. Sound like a pipe dream? Well, there’s an almost 90% chance it will be a dream come true for at least one person in a little more than two days, as the nationwide Powerball jackpot is currently projected to grow to a mind-boggling $1.4 billion by drawing time on Wednesday evening at 10 PM CT.
The cash value of the jackpot will be more than $867 million.
The previous Powerball lotto jackpot of over $700 million was already the record for the largest potential single winner lottery jackpot in history (surpassing the $656 milliion MegaMillions jackpot in 2013), and the next jackpot is expected to double that number.
There are no guarantees for Powerball jackpot
Lotto fever is gripping the nation, but there are no guarantees that anyone will get super-rich on Wednesday night. Despite the current frenzy of Powerball ticket buying, there is only around a 90% chance someone will hit the jackpot. There was a 77% chance of a winner last time (based on 440 million tickets sold), and given at least 50% more tickets are projected to be sold for the January 13th drawing, even with more than 650 million new tickets sold, there’s still a real chance of it carrying over yet again.
In discussing the fact that no one hit the jackpot on the January 9th drawing despite so many tickets being sold, Gary Grief, the executive director of the Texas Lottery, said it was all a matter of statistics in an interview on Sunday. “That just shows the total randomness of Powerball, ” he said. At our peak last [Saturday] night, we were selling more than $1.2 million in Powerball tickets every single minute.”
More on statistics relating to huge Powerball jackpot
Jeffrey Miecznikowski, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University at Buffalo, points out that the chances of picking the right combination of numbers is roughly equal to flipping a coin and getting heads 28 times in a row.
Give that Saturday’s winning numbers were 16-19-32-34-57 and the Powerball number was 13, Miecznikowski suggested one possible reason there was no winner was because the Powerball number was 13, which most players avoid as unlucky.