$200M Powerball jackpot up for grabs tonight

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Gibby Parra

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 8:34 PM

Poll:
If you won the jackpot, would you take the cash option or the annuity?

PHOENIX -- A mere $2 might make all of your dreams come true Wednesday night. The Powerball jackpot is an estimated $200 million.

The cash option for the prize is about $128.5 million.

In order to win the whole enchilada, you need to match all six numbers -- five on white balls plus the red Powerball. It's not as easy as it might sound. According to the Arizona Lottery website, odds of nailing it are 1 in 175,223,510.

The good news is there are eight other winning combinations with prizes starting at $4 -- doubling an investment in a single ticket -- and going up to $1 million. Your odds of winning something -- anything -- are about 1 in nearly 32.

There are three ways to play the game.

1. You can let the computer choose all of your numbers. (While quite common, a seven-time grand-prize winner from Florida says that's a really bad idea.)

2. You can choose all of your own numbers by whatever method you like.

3. You can choose either just the white balls or just the Powerball and let the computer choose the rest.

According to the Arizona Lottery, the 10 most-drawn white balls are 56, 14, 20, 59, 1, 5, 7, 11, 29 and -46. The most-drawn red ball is 29. The five least-drawn balls are 2, 18, 21, 25 and 27. The least-drawn red ball is 9.

If nobody wins Wednesday night, the jackpot will roll over to Saturday. If somebody does win, it will reset to a mere $40 million.

If you do choose the $200 million numbers, you have a choice to make -- lump-sum cash or 30-year annuity. You have 60 days to make your decision so you have a little time to get used to the idea of being a millionaire. If you don't make a decision within those 60 days, you'll get the annuity.

So, what can you buy with $128.5 million?

Source: Google Maps

The most expensive home in the metro Phoenix area is a 31,000-square-foot Paradise Valley mansion valued at nearly $20 million (as of last year). Win Wednesday's Powerball jackpot and you could buy it six times over and have a little cash left over.

In addition to Arizona, Powerball is played in 41 other states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to the Arizona Lottery, money from lottery games, including Powerball, has returned nearly $2.7 billion to the state since 1981.

You have until 6:59 p.m. to buy your ticket of dreams.

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