Powerball winning numbers drawing yields no winner; lottery jackpot hits record

Powerball jackpot climbs to estimated $700M
A lottery official says the estimated prize for this weekend's Powerball drawing is the largest jackpot of any lottery game in U.S. history.

Saturday's drawing will be worth about $700 million. That's because no one matched the numbers drawn for Wednesday night's estimated $500 million jackpot.

Wednesday night's winning numbers: 2 - 11 - 47 - 62 - 63 and PB: 17

The jackpot will be the largest since a Powerball prize that climbed to $564.1 million last February before it was won by players from North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico. Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Meet the lucky winners of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history

Yes, you can play in Illinois! Powerball is a national jackpot game anyway. But Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill earlier this month authorizing the Illinois Lottery to resume all winner payouts. Previously, many had to wait to collect their prizes due to the state's budget impasse.

Here are more details about the big lottery payoff.

CHOOSING YOUR NUMBERS

Looking for ideas on how to choose the lucky numbers? Previous winners have recommended letting a computer decide your numbers rather than choosing significant digits based on birthdays or anniversaries. If you play the lottery often, it's also suggested that you stick with the same combination every time you play. Read more tips from ABC News.

HOW DOES THE JACKPOT RANK?

The jackpot will be the largest ever in North America. It's been growing since the last Powerball jackpot winner on Nov. 4 and is still climbing. The record-largest jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot won in March 2012. The largest Powerball prize was a $590.5 million jackpot won by a Florida woman in May 2013.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

The prize is based on an annuity, which would pay out the money over 29 years. Or you can take the lump sum cash payment at once, but you'd have to pay the tax.

THE ODDS? NOT GOOD.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 : 292,201,338. For some comparison, your chance of being struck by lightning in a year is about one in 960,000. But as lottery officials often note, you have no chance of winning if you don't buy a ticket.

POOLING YOUR MONEY

Some players feel they increase their odds of winning by pooling their money with co-workers, with a promise to split the winnings. Joining with colleagues and friends can increase the fun of playing, but the odds of winning are so tiny that adding 50 or 100 chances doesn't matter much. Lottery officials recommend that if people pool their money, they put down rules in writing for splitting the prize, as it's easy for misunderstandings to crop up when hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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