Powerball jackpot fourth biggest in US history after no weekend winner

Published August 05, 2013

| FoxNews.com

Here we grow again.

Less than three months after a Florida woman won the biggest Powerball jackpot ever, the current prize for Wednesday’s drawing has reached roughly $400 million.

No one hit the Powerball jackpot on Saturday, so the money has rolled over to create the third-largest Powerball jackpot ever and the fourth-largest lottery prize on record. In May, Gloria Mackenzie, of Zephyrhills, Fla., claimed the biggest Powerball prize of all time, a $590.5 million windfall. The 84-year-old woman opted for the lump-sum payment, ultimately walking away with more than $278 million after taxes.

Saturday's winning numbers were 21, 24, 36, 42 and 45; the Powerball was 15.

Powerball tickets doubled in price to $2 in January 2012 as part of a plan to help jackpots grow bigger and faster. And once those jackpots reach astronomical levels, ticket sales skyrocket, causing them to reach even higher levels in a matter of days.

If Wednesday's jackpot doesn't top $400 million, a single winner choosing the cash option would collect $230.3 million before taxes. But no matter how many people play the game, the odds of matching all six numbers remains 1 in 175.2 million.

Half of the $2 cost of a Powerball ticket goes toward the prizes, while the remainder is destined for each state’s lottery organization. Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each state that participates in the game decides how to use the money. Some states earmark the money for a specific purpose, such as education, while others use it in their general funds.

Mackenzie, meanwhile, reportedly purchased a 6,300-square-foot, five-bedroom home in June in a gated golf course community in southeast Jacksonville, Fla. She paid $1.175 million, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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