Lottery jackpots update: Winning Powerball ticket for $1.33 billion sold in Oregon

Apr 8, 2024, 10:02 AM | Updated: 12:37 pm

Image: The awnings of a store advertise the sale of lottery tickets, including Mega Millions and Po...

The awnings of a store advertise the sale of lottery tickets, including Mega Millions and Powerball, in 2023. (File photo: Seth Wenig, AP)

(File photo: Seth Wenig, AP)

After growing for months, the Powerball prize reached an estimated $1.326 billion before a winning ticket was sold in Portland, Oregon, Saturday night, Powerball reported. The all-at-once cash option nets the winner $621 million.

The jackpot is the fourth-largest in the history of the game, Powerball stated in a media release published Monday.

“I want to congratulate the winner on this life changing moment. No one in Oregon has ever won a prize on this scale, and it’s very exciting for our staff and players,” Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells said in the release. “Even if you aren’t holding the winning ticket, all of our players support programs and services statewide that receive lottery dollars.”

The largest Powerball prize previously won in Oregon was a $340 million jackpot in 2005, the Oregon Lottery said it a separate news release posted on the Powerball website. It added the last time a Powerball jackpot was won in the state was in 2018, when a Salem man won $150.4 million.

Washington is also one of the 45 states where Powerball operates.

Saturday’s Powerball drawing came more than a week after a ticket holder in New Jersey matched all six numbers drawn to win the estimated $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot at the end of March, according to a news release.

It was was the first time the Powerball prize and Mega Millions jackpot each grew so large at the same time. Both journeys have ended for the time being.

Powerball winning numbers: Last drawing

The winning numbers from Saturday, April 6, were 22, 27, 44, 52, 69 and Powerball 9.

Winning Powerball ticket sold in Oregon

The estimated $1.326 billion prize is the fourth-largest jackpot in the history of the game. The three largest-ever prizes all topped $1.5 billion with the $2.04 billion jackpot awarded to a California player in 2022 being the biggest of them all.

The ticket holder will have the option of accepting a lump-sum payment of $621 million or the full $1.326 billion as an annuitized prize. If the winner selects the annuity option, that person or people will receive one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments that increase by 5% each year. Both prize options are before taxes.

As The Associated Press (AP) noted in its coverage, Saturday’s prize was the eighth largest lottery windfall in U.S. It had the chance to become the seventh-largest prize of all time — a $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot went to a winner in Illinois in July 2022 — but it fell just short.

There were 41 consecutive drawings without a Powerball winner ahead of the win in Oregon. Before Saturday’s win, the last time a winning ticket was sold was Jan. 1 when one winner from Michigan won $842 million. The winner also had the option to take the lump-sum option of $425.2 million.

Big winner: $1.765 billion Powerball jackpot goes to lucky lottery player in California

Saturday’s Powerball prize initially jumped to an estimated $1.23 billion after no one secured the jackpot in last Wednesday’s night’s drawing, according to a previous news release from Powerball. The all-at-once cash option would have provided a single winner a sum of an estimated $595.1.million. The jackpot grew ahead of Saturday’s drawing thanks to late ticket sales.

A single winner of last Wednesday’s drawing would have walked away with an estimated $1.13 billion with a cash value of $547.3 million.

Mega Millions jackpot winner set to take home $1.13 billion

The Mega Millions jackpot reached an estimated $1.13 billion at the end of March before the winning ticket was sold in New Jersey, Mega Millions stated in a previous news release.

The winner now has the option to accept that full amount over 30 years or take the lump-sum option of an estimated $537.5 million.

Tuesday’s jackpot originally was set to be $1.1 billion with a $525.8 million lump-sum payment. But additional ticket sales bumped up the grand prize.

There had been 30 drawings since the last time a player matched all the numbers to win the jackpot before the 31st drawing Tuesday.

This was the sixth time in less than six years the Mega Millions jackpot has topped $1 billion, Mega Millions reported in a news release late last Friday. The last time the prize hit $1 billion was last August when it hit $1.602 billion before a winning ticket was sold in Florida.

The $1.13 billion prize is the fifth largest in the game’s history.

Players in the state of Washington can visit to keep up with the progress of both lottery jackpots.

Getting Powerball tickets

Those who want to get Powerball tickets must get them before 6:45 p.m. on the day of the drawings to have a chance to win the giant prize. Tickets are available at all Washington Lottery retail locations. The drawings take place at 7:59 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

According to a statement from Washington’s Lottery, Powerball also offers several add-on features, including Double Play for $1, a second-chance drawing at 8:30 p.m. with the chance to win up to $10 million, and Power Play for $1, which offers players the opportunity to multiply their non-jackpot winnings based on the Power Play multiplier randomly chosen at draw time.

Getting Mega Millions tickets

Mega Millions holds drawings twice a week, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Fridays, telecast from a television studio in Atlanta. The numbers are also quickly posted on the game’s website. Tickets are available at all Washington Lottery retail locations.

Ticket sales are cut off every Tuesday and Friday night at 7:45 p.m. and resume at 7:46 p.m., the Washington’s Lottery website states.

The Washington’s Lottery site also states that players can multiply their winnings with Megaplier. For an extra $1 per play, players can multiply non-jackpot winnings two, three, four or five times based on the Megaplier chosen randomly at draw time.

How you can win the Powerball prize

Powerball also is a national lottery game. Each play is $2. Players pick five numbers between one and 69 and one Powerball number between one and 26.

Alternatively, players may also use the quick pick by letting the computer select their numbers. With nine winning ball combinations, the more numbers that match those drawn, the more a player will win.

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How you can win the Mega Millions jackpot

Mega Millions is a national lottery game. Players can buy tickets for $2 and select six numbers from separate pools. Five of the selections come from one pool, with different numbers from 1 to 70, and the other is for the Mega Ball, with numbers from 1 to 25. Some states also give players the option of paying more for different options that increase payouts or give people extra sets of numbers.

People can pick their own numbers — and some play the same numbers each time. But most players opt for the quick pick option, which lets a computer generate random numbers.

Why promoted jackpots and cash values vary so much

Lotteries promote the larger jackpot, but the prize everyone is dreaming of is half that amount or less. That’s because the promoted prize is for a one winner who is paid over 30 years through an annuity, in which the announced prize is invested and pays more over time.

Under the annuity plan, winners will receive an immediate payment and then 29 annual payments that rise by 5% each year until finally reaching the original promoted total.

As interest rates have risen in the past year or so, the cash prize has generated much larger annuity prizes. Winners rarely take the annuity option, but that’s the huge number displayed on lottery billboards.

Last 7 Powerball prizes won

  • April 6, 2024: $1.326 billion. The winning ticket was sold in Oregon.
  • Jan. 1, 2024: $842.4 million. The winning ticket was sold in Michigan.
  • Oct. 11, 2023: $1.765 billion. The winning ticket was sold in California.
  • July 19, 2023: $1.08 billion. The winning ticket was sold in California.
  • April 19, 2023: $252.6 million. The winning ticket was sold in Ohio.
  • March 4, 2023: $162.2 million. The winning ticket was sold in Virginia.
  • Feb. 6, 2023: $754.6 million. The winning ticket was sold in the state of Washington.

We have a winner: $842.4M Powerball jackpot ticket sold in Michigan

Last 6 Mega Millions jackpots won

  • March 26, 2024: $1.13 billion ($537.5 million cash). The winning ticket was sold in New Jersey.
  • Dec. 8, 2023: $394 million ($188.6 million cash). The winning tickets were sold in California.
  • Oct. 6, 2023: $361 million ($157.3 million cash). The winning ticket was sold in Texas.
  • Aug. 15, 2023: $39 million ($18.9 million cash). The winning ticket was sold in Florida and went unclaimed, Mega Millions reported.
  • August 8, 2023: $1.602 billion ($794.2 million cash). The winning ticket was sold in Florida.
  • April 18, 2023: $20 million ($10.5 million cash).The winning ticket was sold in New York.

What are the odds of winning a Powerball prize?

The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are about one in 292.2 million, the AP noted in its past coverage of large game prizes.

That winless streak shouldn’t be a surprise because it shows the game is operating as it was designed. The immense jackpot odds are intended to make winning rare so the grand prizes can grow so large. People may say they would be satisfied with winning a smaller sum, but it’s the giant jackpots that prompt people to drop money on Powerball tickets.

When someone wins the big prize and the jackpot reverts to about $20 million, sales drop dramatically. Those sales then rise steadily along with the top prize.

Plenty of people buy Powerball tickets, but sales are far less than previous years, when jackpots began to grow much larger after a change in the game’s odds. Before the jackpot odds worsened in 2015 from 1 in 175.2 million to 1 in 292.2 million, more people won the top prizes, so they didn’t grow so massive.

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What are the odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot?

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million, the AP reported in recent coverage of the climbing prizes.

Those low odds that enable the game to trundle along without a winner for months. Mega Millions lengthened its odds in 2019.

Who runs the lottery games?

Mega Millions and Powerball are run separately but both are overseen by state lotteries.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Powerball also operates in 45 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The games don’t operate in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada or Utah.

A word of warning: Buying lottery tickets isn’t a good investment

Because winning is so rare, experts maintain that lottery tickets are horrible investments — but note that every person’s reason for playing the lottery is different.

Some people might buy a $2 lottery ticket as a form of entertainment and find satisfaction in “the excitement of thinking you might win,” Syracuse University mathematics professor Steven Diaz said to the AP in 2023. Meanwhile, others may enter the lottery out of feelings of desperation or financial struggle — with experts pointing to consequences that have disproportionately impacted low-income communities.

The lottery has historically acted as a regressive tax on the poor, meaning the people that can least afford to lose their money buy the most tickets, Lia Nower, a professor and the director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, previously told the AP.

She said her “concern with lottery is really more people who are buying it every day or two or three times a week” as opposed to those who purchase one ticket as the jackpot nears $1 billion.

A $2 ticket may not seem like much — but it can add up for those who are regularly entering the lottery over time. Alternative spending options could include opening an investment account that allows you to invest in small amounts or buying partial stock, Kovach said.

“In reality, it’s probably best to diversify by something like an index fund — but if you’re just starting out, I would… (suggest putting it) in the stock market or something like that,” he said. “You will actually probably see a return over time.”

Editors’ note: This story originally was published on Saturday, March 23. It has been updated and republished multiple times since then.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here.

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