The Powerball jackpot has topped $300 million once again, for the fourth time this year. The lottery game has only had eleven jackpots total that topped that figure.
Wednesday night's drawing yielded the numbers 11, 19, 33, 42 and 52, with a Powerball of 33; no one hit every number, so Saturday's jackpot will be $317 million, or $176.3 million if the winner takes the cash in a lump sum.
The record for the lotto game was set in May, when a Florida woman hit the $590.5 million jackpot. She ended up taking the cash and was left with a paltry $379 million (before taxes). The record-setting jackpots are likely the result of a redesign of the game, which raised ticket prices to $2 but changed the length of time it takes to garner big pots.
“It usually took a handful of months, if not several months, for a jackpot to reach this large amount,” Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said. “Now it’s achieving that within a handful of weeks. I think the redesign is achieving exactly what we had wanted it to achieve, which is the bigger, faster-growing jackpot.”
The biggest Powerball jackpot ever was won in November of last year and totaled $587.5 million; the largest lotto jackpot was Mega Millions' $656 million annuity, which was split between three tickets in March of last year.