NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — What would you do if you won hundreds of millions of dollars?
Since no one hit the $307 million Powerball jackpot Saturday night, the money rolled over into a roughly $425 million prize for Wednesday’s drawing.
The midweek jackpot remains below the record $590.5 million jackpot won in May by an 84-year-old Florida woman. But as it stands, it would be the third-largest Powerball jackpot ever and the fourth-largest lottery prize on record.
Saturday’s winning numbers were 21, 24, 36, 42 and 45; the Powerball was 15.
The changes Powerball organizers made to the game last year are coming to roost in the billowing jackpots, with Wednesday’s pushing into record territory less than three months after Gloria C. Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla., claimed the biggest Powerball prize ever.
Powerball tickets doubled in price to $2 in January 2012 as part of a plan to help jackpots grow bigger, faster. And when the jackpots reach astronomical levels, ticket sales take off, with jackpots following close behind.
If Wednesday’s jackpot doesn’t top $400 million, a single winner choosing the cash option would collect $230.3 million before taxes.
No matter how many people play the game, the odds of matching all six numbers remains 1 in 175.2 million.
That didn’t seem to matter to New Yorkers CBS 2′s Emily Smith spoke to on Tuesday. They said if they win they’ll just disappear for a while, perhaps a long while. And if they ever return, a mansion it is.
“If you don’t play it, you don’t get to complain about it,” John Johnson said.
Half of the $2 cost of a Powerball ticket goes toward the prizes, the rest to the state lottery organization.
Powerball is played in 43 states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands are also included.
Each state that participates in the game decides how to use the money. Some states earmark the money for a specific purpose, such as education, while others use it in their general funds.
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