Powerball jackpot hits $320 million

Powerball jackpot hits $320 million

Credit: MGN Online

Powerball jackpot hits $320 million

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:23 AM

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

PHOENIX -- Your big dream could be just $2 away. The estimated jackpot for Wednesday night's Powerball drawing is $320 million. Yes, that's 320 with six zeroes on the end.

If you can dream it, chances are you'll probably be able to buy it if your numbers come up Wednesday night. The cash option is about $213 million.

You could buy 88 Bugatti Veyron Super Sports cars with that kind of scratch. Or if the Aston Martin One-77 is more your speed, you could buy a fleet of 115. Or you could keep it to just one car -- or even one of each -- and buy yourself a nice little island in the Bahamas and still have money to spare. Children's Bay Cay, for example, can be yours for about $30 million.

The fourth-largest prize in Powerball's history, this $320 million jackpot has been rolling over -- and over and over -- since June.

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 175,22,510.

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. (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-draw balls are 56, 14, 59, 5, 7, 11, 29, 46, 1 and 16. The most drawn red ball is 33. On the flip side, the least-drawn while balls are 2, 18, 21, 25 and 27, while the least-draw red ball is 9. Do with that what you will.

If you choose your numbers, you can play the same ticket for up to 10 consecutive draws. Just let mark the multi-draw box on the slip.

If fortune smiles on you and you win the jackpot, 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.

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

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.

"People and families all over the state are enjoying greater educational opportunities, enhancing their health and wellness, seeing significant economic and business development, and benefiting from a dedication to the environment," the Arizona Lottery's website reads.

Nearly 40 percent of the money generated goes to education, 30 percent to health and welfare, 20 percent to economic development and the remaining money to environmental endeavors.

You have until 6:59 p.m. Arizona time to buy your ticket(s).

How do you choose your lottery numbers? Share your favorite method below.

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