Powerball winning numbers: Jackpot at $700 million

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The Powerball jackpot has reached $700 million, the second largest in U.S. history. (WLS)

Someone could win the largest lottery prize in American history Wednesday night. Not to be a killjoy, but there's only a 0.0000003% chance it will be you.

The winning numbers are: 6 - 7 - 16 - 23 - 26 Powerball: 4

The Powerball jackpot reached $700 million, the second largest in U.S. history.

"To give an idea of how big that is, tonight's jackpot is high enough to buy everyone in Wisconsin 173 brats (but they have to supply their own buns and kraut)," said Wisconsin Lottery Directory Cindy Polzin.

The only larger jackpot was a $1.6 billion prize that was split by three winning tickets in January 2016. If there's only one winner Wednesday night, that person will walk away with more cash than any of those three.

What would you do with $700 million?

"I don't have the slightest idea. Not yet," said Roosevelt Hill.

"Well first, I would probably pass out, then I would come back to reality and try to figure it out," said Michael Moss.

One thing that's fairly certain is that the winner or winners won't choose to take the full $700 million prize. Only two Powerball winners in the past 10 years have chosen the annuity option -- the full jackpot paid over 29 years. The vast majority choose a smaller upfront payment -- $443 million in Wednesday's case, before taxes.

Financial experts said 70 percent of lottery winners go broke within two or three years because they have no idea what to do with that kind of money. Experts advise winners to make a plan first thing.

"Get back to even. Pay off all your debts. Take a little money and splurge but don't make any big important decisions for six months or a year. Let the dust settle," said John Gajkowski, Money Managers Financial Group.

Of course, to make a plan you have to win. To increase their odds, people did all sorts of crazy things: going from one store to another buying tickets at each one, even driving across state lines to Indiana, the luckiest state in America. Indiana holds the record for the highest number of Powerball jackpot winners.

There's also a chance there will be no winner tonight, just as there haven't in the 20 Powerball drawings since the last winner on June 10.

Powerball added numbers to the game in October 2015 so the jackpot would roll over more often and the prizes would be bigger. But more numbers also means longer odds. The odds of any one ticket winning Wednesday night are 1 in 292 million. Before the switch, the odds were 1 in 175 million. Seven of the 12 largest Powerball jackpots have come since the odds were increased.

Powerball fever in Chicago

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The Powerball jackpot has reached $700 million, the second largest in U.S. history.



Store clerks in Chicago expected Wednesday to be a busy day.

"It's really, really crazy. I mean, the higher - some people come here and spend $200-$300 on lottery. The line is going to be all the way back in the corner and back around," said Kirk Cook, who manages the 7-Eleven at 35 East Wacker Drive in Chicago's Loop.

Cook had six Powerball tickets in hand Wednesday morning. He said he planned to be ten more before the drawing at 9:59 p.m.

"Chicago Fire" actor Taylor Kinney got in line for a Powerball ticket around 5 a.m. before heading to set. ABC7 asked what he'd do if he won the big jackpot.

"I'm not sure. I was just saying, I don't normally play. I don't think I've ever bought a Powerball ticket, but I'm gonna buy it for the gang at work and we'll split it up - divvy it up - and we'll see what happens. I don't know, I think I'd keep chucking. I kind of have a cush job now. I like what I do. I don't think I'd stop. I'd maybe buy a boat to float around on the lake," Kinney said. With $700 million, he could buy a yacht.

People all over Illinois are hoping that a winning lottery ticket sold in north suburban Glenview "primed the pump" for Wednesday night's Powerball drawing.
Thomas Holloway just won $5 million. He bought a Million Dollar Match ticket at the Jewel on Patriot Boulevard. He already met with financial planners and said he will invest the money wisely.

The winning Mega Millions ticket for $393 million was sold in Illinois earlier this month, at Nick's Barbecue in southwest suburban Palos Heights. The winner has yet to come forward. People flocked to the restaurant Wednesday morning, in hopes of having as much luck as the Mega Millions jackpot winner.

Buy tickets for $2 online at IllinoisLottery.com or at 8,000 retailers statewide. Players choose five different numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26.

The jackpot isn't the only prize to be won in this game, Wisconsin Lottery officials said. If players match the Powerball, they'll win $4. If players match all five numbers but not the Powerball, they'll win $1 million.

If players pay an extra $1 when purchasing their $2 ticket, they can choose Power Play to increase their non-jackpot winnings. The prize would be multiplied by the drawing's Power Play number.

Wisconsin officials used this example: if a prize is $50,000 and the Power Play number for that drawing is 5, a player who added Power Play to their winning ticket would win $250,000. The $1 million prize automatically becomes $2 million with Power Play, officials said.

People can also purchase Powerball tickets across the border, in Indiana, which Hoosier Lottery officials said is now the luckiest state in America when it comes to the Powerball. Indiana holds the record for Powerball jackpot winners, officials said.

"Powerball! Everybody knows what time it is. It's $700 million. I want some of that. I'll share with you if I win," said Lloyd Barnes, a truck driver, who planned to get his tickets in Indiana.

Players should sign their ticket and check it ASAP to avoid missing out on their prize.

Here is a look at the 10 largest U.S. jackpots so far and the states where the winning tickets were sold:

1. $1.6 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)

2. $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)

3. $648 million, Mega Millions, Dec. 17, 2013 (two tickets, from California and Georgia)

4. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (one ticket, from Florida)

5. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (two tickets, from Arizona and Missouri)

6. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb. 11, 2015 (three tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)

7. $536 million, Mega Millions, July 8, 2016 (one ticket, from Indiana)
8. $487 million, Powerball, July 30, 2016 (one ticket, from New Hampshire)

9. $448.4 million, Powerball, Aug. 7, 2013 (three tickets, one from Minnesota and two from New Jersey)

10. $447.8 million, Powerball, June 10, 2017, (one ticket, from California)

What if I win?

Say you win - what are your next steps? Insurance company State Farm offered some advice:

Put together a team, including your lawyer, your accountant and a financial adviser, to help formulate a solid plan on how to protect your privacy and how to best use the money.

Find out how much time you have to turn in your winning ticket and work with your team on your next steps. Do not post the news immediately on social media.

Secure your ticket by making several copies of both sides to show your lawyer or accountant and locking the original ticket in a safe or safe deposit box. Talk to your bank's upper management team ahead of time to discuss the best options for holding large amounts of money.

Finally, spend wisely!

CNN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
financepowerballu.s. & worldlotteryChicagoLoopPalos HeightsIllinoisIndianaWisconsin
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