Powerball Jackpot Grows to $635M Due to Ticket-Buying Surge

The Powerball drawing will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 10:59 p.m. ET

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The giant Powerball jackpot got even bigger Friday as officials raised the estimated payout to $635 million ahead of Saturday night's drawing.

The grand prize was increased from an earlier estimate of $620 million, reflecting a surge in sales from players attracted by the potential payoff. The more people who buy tickets, the larger the prize grows.

The jackpot amount refers to the payout for winners who choose the annuity option, which provides 30 payments over 29 years. Nearly all winners opt for cash, which for Saturday's drawing would be an estimated $450 million. Both prize options are before taxes.

The $620 million estimate is the 10th largest in U.S. lottery history and the sixth-largest for Powerball — but still over $900 million behind the record $1.586 billion prize set in 2016.

While the jackpot increases, the chance of winning all that money remains miniscule, at one in 292.2 million. Those odds are the reason the jackpot has grown so large, as there have been 39 drawings in a row without a grand prize winner.

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Powerball is played in 45 states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Tickets are $2 per play and drawings are now held three times a week. In August, Powerball launched a new Monday drawing, which expanded the weekly lineup of Powerball drawings to Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press/NBC
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