Powerball jackpot hits record $900M as lottery fever sweeps US

Powerball jackpot hits a record-setting $700M
Powerball jackpot hits a record-setting $700M   

The Powerball jackpot, already the largest lottery prize in U.S. history, is now at $900 million.

No one selected all the numbers in Wednesday night's drawing, when the jackpot was $500 million. The next drawing is at 10:59 p.m. ET Saturday.

Lottery officials said on Saturday that if no one wins in the current drawing, the next pool of cash would be worth $1.3 billion on Wednesday.

Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and grow until the big prize is won. The current jackpot has been on since Nov. 7, after 18 drawings without a big winner. The odds of matching all the numbers is 1 in 292.2 million.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

"This is truly exciting and uncharted territory," said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and chair of the Powerball game group.

Falsetta's Market on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has seen new ticket buyers coming out of the woodworks since the Powerball lottery soared to an all-time record high.

"Yesterday was huge," manager Matt Devereux said of the run-up to Wednesday night's drawing, when no one won the jackpot which then stood at $500 million.

"A lot of people who don't normally play, and who very, very rarely play, were buying."

Lottery winner: Invest money and work hard
Lottery winner: Invest money and work hard   

Devereux said that type of payout was pulling in more elderly buyers than he normally sees, and the amount being spent on tickets was as much as five times higher than usual, with most people spending $10 or $20.

That kind of influx of money was being reported in other states as well, Reuters reported.

The previous U.S. record jackpot was $656 million in a Mega Millions drawing in March 2012. The largest Powerball prize was a $590.5 million jackpot won by a Florida woman in May 2013.

Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

— CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.


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