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Press release

May 16, 2013

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May, 2013 | Media Advisories and Events

POWERBALL® Jackpot Grows to $550 Million!


SACRAMENTO – It was a little over a year ago when Lottery fever had officially gripped the nation. The MEGA Millions® jackpot for the night of March 30, 2012 was a stunning $656 million. Now, fast forward to today and see how the excitement is happening once again! Since no one matched all six numbers in last night’s $360 million POWERBALL draw, the jackpot was supposed to grow to $475 million … except that it didn’t. Sales for Saturday’s draw have already been so impressive that the jackpot grew overnight to $550 million – the third-largest Lottery jackpot of all time!

And don’t get too attached to that $550 million figure. Our forecasters tell us that chances are good that the jackpot could go up even higher tomorrow depending on sales, so stay tuned! Between the close of the May 11 POWERBALL draw and the close of last night’s draw, California alone sold more than $15 million in POWERBALL tickets. We anticipate big sales today, tomorrow, and all day Saturday leading up to the evening draw.

For now, the estimated cash option for Saturday night’s $550 million jackpot draw is $350.1 million. The retailer who sells the jackpot-winning ticket will receive a bonus of $1 million, which is the largest bonus a retailer can receive. For reference, the largest Lottery jackpot ever won was a MEGA Millions jackpot on March 30, 2012. The jackpot was $656 million with a cash option of $474 million.

For those looking to get an early start on the story, Lottery Spokesman Alex Traverso will be available tomorrow morning for interviews at (916) 799-8630.

POWERBALL is a multistate game, played in California and 44 other jurisdictions (42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Players pick five numbers from 1 to 59 plus a Powerball number from 1 to 35. Draw times are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. PST. Tickets sales are suspended from 7:00 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. the day of the draw. Tickets are $2 and can be purchased from any of the more than 21,000 California Lottery retailers. Please visit the California Lottery’s POWERBALL site for more information. 

As jackpots rise, the California Lottery would like to remind players that gambling should be fun. Borrowing money to play, spending above a person’s budget or using money intended for other purposes can ultimately lead to significant problems for players and their families. If a player recognizes that they have a gambling problem or if they know someone who may have a problem, please call our Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-800-GAMBLER.

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 96 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.

See More Press Releases: May, 2013 | Media Advisories and Events |