The massive Powerball jackpot will be rolled over and increased after Saturday’s drawing produced no winning tickets, according to the game’s website.
The $1.4 billion jackpot now grows to $1.55 billion but remains the third largest in Powerball history (the second largest was $1.586 billion in 2016).
The last time someone won the Powerball jackpot came after the July 19 drawing of the $1.08 billion pot. The winning ticket was then sold in California.
Lottery games produce $1 billion jackpots about two or three times a year, but when there is a winner, it will be the first time back-to-back billion-dollar jackpots have been claimed.
Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at Holy Cross College, said the increase in jackpots and the decrease in the number of winners is intentional.
Matheson said organizers have added more balls to the drawings over the years, doubled the price of tickets from $1 to $2, and funneled more buy-in money into the main jackpot.
“The lotteries are all designed to give you a very exciting billion-dollar lottery,” he said.
Matheson also said that both Powerball and Mega Millions have transcended state lotteries to become national phenomenons, helping achieve the goal of rolling over the jackpot for each drawing by spreading the chances of winning a ticket across a broader demographic from coast to coast rather than just one state. .
“Powerball and Mega Millions have moved from regional lotteries to nationwide lotteries,” Matheson said. “And when you have 300 million potential buyers across the country, what that means is you can have a really hard lottery to win.”
In a statement issued Friday, Pennsylvania Lottery CEO Drew Cvitko appeared to acknowledge the new normal for big money in Powerball, where he also serves as head of the product group.
“This has become another Powerball jackpot, and we have many factors aligned at the right time to be able to support a billion-dollar jackpot,” he said.
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