A $421 Million Powerball Lottery Ticket Was Sold in Tennessee

A Powerball lottery ticket sold in Tennessee this weekend had the winning numbers for a $421 million jackpot. The winnings are expected to be one of the largest sums paid in lottery history.

The original expected jackpot was $403 million, but a late surge in ticket buys caused the jackpot to rise to $420.9 million. If the winner chose the lump sum payment, the prize would equal $254.7 million.

Powerball Winning Numbers

The winning numbers were 17-19-21-37-44, along with the Powerball number 16. The last time the top jackpot prize had been won was September 17. Powerball prizes have grown in the past few years, because of changes made in the number of balls drawn.

The ticket was bought in the small town of Lafayette, Louisiana. Lafayette has a population of 5,000 residents and is located about 60 miles northeast of Nashville.

Largest Powerball Lottery Prizes Ever

The largest ever US lottery prize was $1.6 billion, which was determined in a drawing in January 2016. That prize money was split among 3 winners, so the total prize money for each winner was about $533 million. It is thought only one ticket was issued this time.

The second-largest prize amount ever produced in the United States was a $656 million jackpot in a 2012 drawing. The Mega Millions tends to have a bit smaller of a prize than the Powerball, due to the Mega Millions odds of having a winner being slightly better. Regardless of the prize pool and the number of tickets sold, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1-in-292 million.

Where Are Powerball Tickets Sold?

Powerball lottery tickets are sold in 44 US states, along with the District of Columbia. Tickets also are sold in overseas territories like the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Players have the option to fill-out their own Powerball ticket with their own set of numbers, or they can buy a randomly-generated ticket. Both cost $2.

Statistics show that the odds are no different for a ticket chosen by the player or randomly-generated, though the player-chosen tickets are more likely to have multiple winners. That is because human-generated numbers tend to be numbers with a meaning to the player, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or the jersey numbers of favorite athletes. Since many people have these same key numbers, more are likely to choose those numbers.

The Powerball lottery is administered by the Multi-State Lottery Association, which also organizes other lottery games. Of all Powerball tickets sold, 50% of the revenues are returned to gamblers. The remaining 50% is split between the state and vendors, with 40% going to the state general funds and 10% going to the vendors themselves.

Odds and Payouts for Powerball Lottery

With its 50% return-to-player (RTP) rate, the Powerball lottery has the worst odds of all legal forms of gambling in the United States. State lotteries tend to pay back about 60%, while games of keno played in brick-and-mortar casinos have an RTP between 70% and 80%. Many land-based casinos cannot offer games with a return to player less than 75% to 80%, so it would be illegal for any private or tribal gaming location to offer a game with such a low return to player. It pays to be the state government.

Most state lotteries were sold to the voters as a way to fund the education system without raising taxes. Though the education system is touted, most of the time, the lottery revenues go into the general fund. While the money would have to be generated in taxes or fees if no lottery existed, it is a bit deceptive to say the money is earmarked for education, in most cases.

Top Ten Lottery Jackpots Ever

The United States’ multistate lottery associations claims all ten of the Top 10 biggest prizes in lottery history. Those include 7 Powerball prizes and 3 Mega Millions prizes. All ten drawings took place between 2012 and 2016.

In a way, having two competing multistate lotteries have a lot to do with the escalation in prize money. Mega Millions and Powerball continue to increase the number of balls in the draw pool, which lengthens the odds of winning. That in turn increases the probabilities that the eventual prize approaches record amounts.

History of Multistate Lottery Associations

Powerball began in 1985 as the Tri-State Lottery Association, which pooled the lotto resources of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. It has grown to 44 states at present, with drawings on Wednesday and Saturday.

Mega Millions was launched in 1988 as a multi-state association between Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, West Virginia, and Oregon. Mega Millions also has grown into a 44-state association, with drawings on Tuesday and Friday. Americans gamblers can play the big lotto game 4 nights a week.

Powerball Jackpot Reset Number

When the jackpot is triggered in the Powerball game, the pot resets to $40 million. Because fewer people are likely to gamble on the lower jackpots, several drawings usually happen before a new winner is declared.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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