The New York Lottery today announced sales are brisk for tonight's Powerball drawing with the jackpot now at $500 million.
"The Powerball jackpot skyrocketed by nearly $150 million in the past four days, and New Yorkers are taking note," said Gardner Gurney, director of the Division of the Lottery. "As of noon today, New York state was averaging more than $840,000 in Powerball sales per hour. Sales for tonight's drawing end at 10 p.m., so we urge New Yorkers to get their tickets for a chance to win a half-billion dollars."
Tonight's drawing will be the fourth-biggest Powerball jackpot and sixth-largest jackpot prize of any lottery game in U.S. history. No one matched all six numbers for Saturday's $355.8 million drawing causing the jackpot to roll to $500 million or $306 million in a lump sum.
Lottery officials remind players they could be a winner even if they don't win the jackpot prize. The second place prize is $1 million for matching the first five numbers, or $2 million if they paid an extra dollar for the "Power Play" feature when buying the ticket.
Saturday's Powerball jackpot of $355.8 million produced more than 190,438 winning tickets in New York. If no one matches all five numbers plus the Powerball for tonight's drawing, the jackpot will continue to grow. Tickets cost $2 per game and can be purchased until 10 p.m. EST.
Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The largest Powerball jackpot to date was $590.5 million, won in Florida in May 2013.
For all Lottery games, the New York Lottery urges players to follow this ticket safety checklist:
The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.11 billion in fiscal year 2014-15 to help support education in New York. The Lottery's contribution represents 14 percent of total state education aid to local school districts.