Powerball jackpot hits $1.3 billion - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Powerball jackpot hits $1.3 billion

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Powerball jackpot hits $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot hits $1.3 billion

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- $1.3 billion. That's the new Powerball jackpot.

Another Powerball drawing failed to produce a winner on Saturday after reaching a staggering $900 million jackpot earlier in the day -- by far the largest ever.

Now lottery officials estimate the jackpot is already at $1.3 billion ahead of the next drawing on Wednesday night.

Officials with the Montana Lottery say that while no tickets sold in Montana matched enough numbers to win a second-tier prize of $1 million on Saturday, more than 44,000 players did win prizes ranging from $4 to $300. 

The biggest winning jackpot was in 2012 with a MegaMillions game that was worth $656 million.

The current jackpot has been growing since November 7. It first broke into the top 10 largest jackpots ranking last weekend, when it hit $400 million. Since then ticket sales have only taken off.

It hit $700 million on Thursday after nobody won on Wednesday night -- the 18th drawing without a winner.

The buying frenzy continued all day Saturday. A few hours before the drawing, the Texas Lottery reported that $5,838,152 in Powerball tickets were sold in a one-hour period.

According to USA Mega, if there is only one winner of a $1.3 billion jackpot, and that person chooses to take a lump-sum payout, it would be about $806 million. The initial federal tax bite from the winnings is 25% — removing $201.5 million. Now our winner has $604.5 million left to spend. If the winner is a Montana resident, state taxes will eat up about $55 million, leaving a grand total of $548 million. 

The odds of winning are 1 in 292 million.

Powerball is sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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