The Powerball jackpot is nearing $2 billion after 40 drawings without a winner

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A record Powerball jackpot grew to an even larger $1.9 billion after no one won the lottery drawing on Saturday night. 

The numbers for the drawing were: white balls 28, 45, 53, 56, 69 and red Powerball 20.

The next chance for someone to get lucky will be Monday night.

The growing jackpot has provided financial escapism for millions of Americans faced with high inflation and widespread expectations of a recession that could entail layoffs and economic hardship—hardly welcome news after a pandemic. Hopeful contestants have been reading up on how to receive their prize should they win: the cash payment or the annuity option

The new $1.9 billion jackpot is for a winner who is paid through an annuity over 29 years. Winners of lottery jackpots usually prefer a lump sum of cash, which for Monday’s drawing would be $929.1 million.

The Powerball prize keeps getting more massive because of the inability of anyone to overcome the long odds of 1 in 292.2 million and win the jackpot. To take the top prize, players must match all five white balls and one red Powerball. The odds of getting hit by lightning are far greater.

Another reason the jackpot keeps getting bigger is more surprising: People aren’t buying as many tickets for each drawing as they did five or six years ago, so a smaller percentage of the millions of possible number combinations are covered. That makes a winner less likely.

Still, Powerball envy has cropped up in the five states—Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, and Alabama—without the lottery. Some residents are driving across state borders—from Alabama to Georgia, for instance, or Utah to Idaho—for a chance to play, to the delight of stores selling tickets and benefiting from increased foot traffic.

Interest in the Powerball jackpot is so high, meanwhile, that minor glitches with ticket machines make local news broadcasts.

Since someone won the prize on Aug. 3, there have been 40 drawings without a winner. That matches a record for draws without a winner, along with a run of drawings last year, according to the Clive, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association.

Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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