Nobody won the Powerball jackpot on the Christmas Day drawing, meaning the game’s top prize will grow ahead of the next drawing Monday night.
The grand prize is estimated to reach $416 million, which is the second-largest jackpot of the year — trailing the $699 million prize won in October.
Winning the jackpot requires the player to match the numbers on all five white balls (1 - 69) plus the red Powerball (1 - 26). Statistically, a player has 292.2 million-to-one odds of winning the grand prize.
The odds are so lofty, it’s only been done six times in 2021. But even if you don’t hit the jackpot, you can still become a millionaire by matching fewer numbers.
In fact, six tickets won the million-dollar prize in Saturday’s drawing by matching the numbers on all the balls except the Powerball. Twenty-eight people won at least $100,000 by matching numbers on four white balls plus the Powerball.
The prizes diminish significantly beyond that point. In total, you have a 24.9-to-one chance of winning a prize of any value.
George Hollins buys a Powerball ticket at the Shell Gateway store on March 26, 2019 in Boynton Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Those who win the top prize have a decision to make: cash or annuity.
The cash option will give the player a one-time lump sum payment equal to the value of the prize pool. In Monday’s drawing, that’s estimated to be worth 299.5 million.
Winners who choose the annuity will get the entire jackpot in 30 payments spread out over 30 years. Each payment is 5% larger than the previous, in order to account for inflation.
Powerball data shows winners overwhelmingly opt for the one-time lump sum. A winner hasn’t chosen the annuity since 2014.
In either case, federal and local taxes apply to the winnings.
Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET. If Monday’s drawing doesn’t match a player’s ticket, the prize will continue to rise ahead of the next drawing.
Once a winning ticket has been sold, regardless of if or when the prize gets claimed, the jackpot will reset at $40 million.
This story was reported from Atlanta.