Anticipation turned to disappointment for thousands of people who purchased Powerball tickets ahead of Saturday night’s drawing for the biggest U.S. lottery prize in history.
But since no one matched all six Powerball numbers, the newly estimated $1.4 billion jackpot is still theirs for the taking. The prize is all but certain to grow before the next drawing Wednesday as others buy tickets for their chance at quick riches.
The jackpot has ballooned since its Nov. 4 starting point of $40 million.
Saturday’s winning numbers — 16-19-32-34-57 and Powerball number of 13 — did gain some people a little wealth: 25 tickets won $1 million by matching five numbers, and three other tickets won $2 million because they paid extra to multiply smaller prizes.
Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, had said they expected about 75 percent of the possible number combinations would have been bought for Saturday night’s drawing. The odds to win are one in 292.2 million.
The record jackpot lured an unprecedented frenzy of purchases. Anndrea Smith, 30, said Saturday that she already had spent more than she usually does on Powerball tickets.
“I bought four yesterday, and I usually never buy any,” said Smith, manager of Bucky’s gas station and convenience store in Omaha, Nebraska.
Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The next Powerball drawing is Wednesday.