The recent rule changes to Powerball have already created the multi-state lottery's second highest jackpot of all time.
There were no Powerball jackpot winners in the drawing of Saturday, February 4, so the total will increase to an estimated $250 million for Wednesday night’s drawing. The cash option payout is estimated at $156 million. The winning Powerball numbers for the February 4 drawing were 15, 23, 43, 45, and 56, and the Powerball number was 7.
Philly.com reports that the game’s jackpot prize was higher only one time in its history- when the annuity prize was $365 million in February 2006. Eight Nebraska workers took the lump sum payout of $177 million. A November jackpot had an annuity prize of $254.2 million, but the cash option payout was “just” $151.6 million.
Lottery Post reports that five players matched the first five numbers without the Powerball to win $1 million, none of them being from New Jersey. Two of those tickets, from Colorado and Florida, took the Power Play option and increased their winnings to $2 million. This marked the first $2 million winners in the game since the rule changes began January 15.
According to Huliq, the changes doubled the price of a ticket, but decreasing the odds against winning. The number of Powerball numbers that a player can choose from was dropped from 39 to 35, cutting the odds on winning from one out of 195 million to one out of 175 million. With the increased ticket prices, the Multi-State Lottery Association said jackpot would now average around $140 million.