Hopeful lottery players will have a chance to win nearly $1 billion this weekend, as the next Powerball drawing will take place on Saturday night after 30 consecutive drawings with no jackpot winner.
Sitting at around $925 million, the Powerball jackpot would be the ninth-highest payout in lottery history, if a lucky winner draws the coveted six-number combination to win.
The last Powerball winner was crowned on July 19, when a mom-and-pop shop in Los Angeles snagged the $1.08 billion winnings.
While the eye-popping $925 million is only for solo winners that opt for the annuity option that is paid out annually for three decades, the more common lump sum option would net a fortuitous participant over $432 million.
Winning the Powerball, which costs $2 per play, is extraordinarily unlikely, as the chances of snagging the correct number combination is around 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Associated Press.
Multiple people may also hold the same winning numbers, which would lead the various victors to split the jackpot.
Uncle Sam will also take a cut of any profits, as do most of the 45 states that allow Powerball tickets to be sold.
After federal taxes, a potential winner on Saturday would take home around $278 million. If a victor is crowned from New York State, they would be looking at a total of around $230 million, with some fluctuation depending on their tax status.
There are also potential winnings for second-place finishers — including an unnamed person who purchased a ticket in Queens that reaped $1 million on Tuesday.
The total pot of money generated by the lottery is typically split among the winners, the lottery proprietors, and states that allow lottery tickets to be sold.
Just over 50% of the total money generated goes to winners, while 10% is kept by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) that operates the lottery.
The remainder of the funds are divided among the 45 states, along with Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, with sums allocated based on the number of tickets sold.
In New York, which saw around $3.6 billion generated by various lotteries offered in the state last year, all lottery-related tax revenue is used to fund the state’s public K-12 schools, which is required by the state constitution.
Localities in the state have significant leeway in deciding what their lottery-generated money pays for, as long as it is directly related to public education.
In the fiscal year 2021-2022, the state doled out $1.26 billion to schools in New York City.
The next Powerball drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m. on Sept. 30, with future drawings taking place each Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Powerball numbers are revealed on most local TV news broadcasts, as well as at the Powerball website.