Do You Have The Winning $500 Million Powerball Ticket?

Wednesday, February 11th 2015, 10:48 am
By: News On 6

It's been more than two months since someone has won Powerball's top prize and the game hasn't seen a such a big jackpot in almost a year. With dipping revenue, officials are banking on successful sales for Wednesday night's big drawing of $500 million, the third largest prize in Powerball history, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

As the jackpot climbed to new heights, people lined up to try their luck. But it appears Americans aren't as willing as they used to be to fork over $2 dollars for the chance to win millions.

While total U.S. lottery sales rose slightly in 2014, Powerball sales fell more than 30 percent, nearly $2 billion from 2013 to 2014.

"It's only when it gets to those big numbers and starts to get headlines that you have a rush of money coming in," Yahoo finance senior writer Michael Santoli said. "People who study lotteries say there's such a thing called 'jackpot fatigue' which is when the jackpots are not as big or any bigger than the ones that came before, people are not so interested in playing."

Seven of the ten largest Powerball prizes ever were handed out in 2012 and 2013, but this is the first time the jackpot's topped $400 million since last February.

With 44 states and the D.C. relying on the revenue from ticket sales to help pay for programs including education and housing, there's a lot to lose.

"We're just seeing a larger gap between the peak and valley in the current year, but with this nearly half-billion dollar jackpot, it's certainly is creating a lot more excitement from our players," Idaho Lottery executive director and Powerball Game Group chairman Jeff Anderson said.

It's excitement lottery officials and participating states are hoping will pay off.

"Yeah, if I see there's a big hype about it and everyone's getting a Powerball number, I'm like, 'Well I want to be part of that too,'" one person said.

Officials credit strong sales for the growing jackpot and say it could get even bigger before Wednesday night's drawing. Unfortunately, with the odds of winning about one in 175 million, you have a better shot at playing for the NBA.