Powerball: What to know about Wednesday’s $700M jackpot

By Global News
August 23, 2017 - 9:31am

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — The second-largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history — at US$700 million — is set to be drawn Wednesday night.

The largest jackpot was a $1.6-billion prize won in January 2016.

Canadians can also get in on the action and purchase tickets. Here’s what you need to know.

The event, taking place in Tallahassee, Fla., will be live streamed on the Powerball website.

The draw will be held at 10:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Powerball draws happen every Wednesday and Saturday night, but there hasn’t been a winner for the past 21 draws.

If no one claims the current prize, the next jackpot will likely surpass the $1.6-billion record, The Washington Post reports.

The chances of winning the massive lottery prize are one in 292.2 million. To put that into perspective, the odds of being struck by lightning in the U.S. are one in 700,000.

The Washington Post reports the odds are much smaller than they were even two years ago, when chances of winning were roughly 1 in 175 million. Winning became significantly less likely in October 2015, when the number of balls was upped from 59 to 69.

So it’s a longshot. But at least there’s a chance.

The $700-million prize would round out to about $880 million for Canadians, who can enter the lottery in a few ways.

Canadians willing to cross the border can purchase a ticket as a “tourist,” according to the Powerball website. However, they can’t bring the ticket back into Canada.

Alternatively, Canadians can have friends or relatives in the U.S. purchase tickets for them, or use a ticket-buying website such as TheLotter.com.

The (very) lucky winner of the jackpot wouldn’t actually get $700 million right away — the full prize would be paid over 29 years.

The Associated Press reports a winner who wants a lump-sum payment would receive $443.3 million, minus federal and state taxes that generally eat up more than 30 percent of winnings.

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