The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 18, 2013

Powerball jackpot closing in on another record

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A little more than a year after three tickets split a world-record lottery prize, the jackpot for Saturday's Powerball drawing was nearing historic territory.

Should nobody pick the correct six numbers, the prize money will roll over to next week's drawing and almost certainly eclipse the $656 million doled out to winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland in the Mega Millions game in March 2012.

But the record could fall Saturday night too if a flurry of last-minute ticket purchases pushes the jackpot much above its current $600 million level. Since the previous drawing on Wednesday, it had grown by at least $236 million.

"If there was no chance, you wouldn't do it," said New Jersey attorney Rubin Sinins, who represented five construction workers who claimed a colleague cheated them out of a share of a multimillion-dollar lottery jackpot.

It seems simple enough: Just correctly pick five white balls out of a drum of 59 and one red one out of a drum of 35.

However, the odds of a single $2 ticket hitting the correct combination are about 1 in 175.2 million. That's slightly less likely than randomly drawing the name of one specific female in the United States: 1 in 157 million, according to the last census.

With such an astronomic payoff available for the lucky ticket holder, some buyers are content to settle for just a share of the winnings.

In Houston, city firefighter John Paetow and a dozen of his colleagues kicked in $10 each for the drawing, as they do occasionally when a the stakes soar into the lottery stratosphere.

"With firemen it's a camaraderie thing," said Paetow, 59. "It just makes sense to pool our money; it buys more tickets, gives us a better chance of winning."

Even if Saturday's drawing doesn't top last year's Mega Millions jackpot, it's already the highest in Powerball history, surpassing that game's $587.5 million record set in November 2012.

Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee