(Radio Iowa) Tonight’s (Wednesday) Powerball drawing is estimated at more than one-point-seven BILLION dollars. Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says we are in an extraordinary run for jackpots.
“Twenty-23 marks the first time that four lottery jackpots have topped a billion dollars in the same year — I mean it’s ‘s incredibly unusual,” Neubauer says. There was a one-point-six BILLION Mega Millions jackpot won August 8th, a Powerball jackpot just above one BILLION was won on July 19th, and a nearly one-point-three-five BILLION Mega Millions jackpot was won January 13th. Neubauer says the jackpots came after the games were tweaked to match what players want.
“I know people love to joke about the odds in Powerball and Mega Millions, right. I mean, the games have long odds. There is no doubt about that,” she says. “But you don’t get the big jackpots without those long odds, so over time, some of the changes that have occurred in the games do mean that the odds are longer to win. But also the jackpots are so big because they they’ve been growing for months.” The jackpot drawing tonight is no exception.
“It was last one on July 19th with a ticket in California. So the interesting thing is that when you get just these long runs in between winners that also helps achieve the sky high numbers that we’re seeing today,” she says. Another factor is more players buy tickets once the jackpot reaches a certain level, which adds more money to the pot. Neubauer says this current jackpot has followed that pattern.
“It seems like we’re to the point where it’s what we call water cooler talk where everybody’s talking about it you know we start to see office pools forming,” Neubauer says. “And we do see when the jackpot is really up there like it is now, we see first time and occasional players jumping in.” Neubauer says the key thing is to remember the shut off time for tickets.
“It is 8:59 p-m on the night of the drawing, If you buy a ticket after that time it will still be a valid ticket, but it will be for an upcoming drawing,” she says. The estimated prize for this drawing is now the second-largest in history behind the two BILLION dollar jackpot won last November.