Powerball jackpot balloons to $360M in weeks - WFLA News Channel 8

Powerball jackpot balloons to $360M in weeks

Posted: Updated:

After weeks of rolling without a winner, the Powerball jackpot has once again ballooned in time for its Wednesday drawing, an estimated $360 million jackpot considered the third largest Powerball jackpot and the seventh largest jackpot in history.
    
Lottery officials expect jackpot totals of this size to continue to climb in shorter amounts of time, thanks in part to a game redesign in January 2012 that increased the odds of winning some kind of prize, but also lowered the possible number combinations to win the Powerball.
    
Between that and the "cross-selling" of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets that began in January 2010, large jackpots will continue to surpass all-time jackpot records set years ago, said Mary Neubauer, spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery. Iowa is one of the founding Powerball states.
    
"It usually took a handful of months, if not several months, for a jackpot to reach this large amount," she 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 redesign means players don't necessarily have to strike big to get lucky. A $1 increase and new $1 million and $2 million prizes means the odds of winning something have increased. Just last Saturday, there was no Powerball jackpot winner, but more than a dozen tickets won $1 million prizes in 10 states.
    
In fact, more than half of the all-time jackpot records have been reached in the last three years. The top two all-time jackpots - $656 million from a Mega Millions jackpot and $587.5 million from a Powerball jackpot - were achieved in 2012.
    
The last major jackpot win came when a New Jersey man won a $338.3 million jackpot on March 23. It is now considered the fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history.
    
Players aren't complaining about the large sums. That just gets them thinking.
    
"I'd hire someone to tell me what to do with the money," said R.J. Konyek, 36, an engineer for Union Pacific in Omaha, Neb. "I'd definitely be up for the challenge (of spending the jackpot)."
    
Insurance agent Joe Williams, of Middleton, Wis., is trying like so many others to get lucky with Powerball. He won $500 several years ago and now wants to score a little higher. Williams doesn't necessarily spend more when the prize is high. But his $4 investment in the quick-pick option means he does spend.
    
"I know rationally it makes no sense," he said. "But at the same time, without a ticket, I have zero chance."
    
Ervin Torok, a truck driver from Sioux Falls, S.D., also is looking for his second chance. He won a $500 prize a few years back.
    
"You never know," Torok, 52, said while checking some lottery tickets from a gas station. "Maybe one day you'll get lucky and win."
    
Tom Powers, 52, a janitor from Omaha, Neb., bought several tickets Tuesday from a convenience store. He said he would definitely walk away from work if he won the jackpot, but he's not sure how he would spend all the winnings.
    
"It's really unfathomable the amount of money this is putting out," Powers said.
    
The next drawing is scheduled for Wednesday night. The jackpot has a $229.2 million cash value.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:25 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:25:05 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:14:48 GMT
    Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled. Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Gymnastics coach accused of sex with Brandon teen bonds out

    Gymnastics coach accused of sex with Brandon teen bonds out

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:02 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:02:32 GMT
    Justin Henry, a 21-year-old gymnastics coach accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, is out of jail Thursday morning. 
    Justin Henry, a 21-year-old gymnastics coach accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, is out of jail Thursday morning. 
  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:25 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:25:05 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Pinellas commissioners to tour new public safety complex

    Pinellas commissioners to tour new public safety complex

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:30 AM EDT2014-07-31 09:30:41 GMT
    The complex renderingThe complex rendering
    Pinellas County Commissioners will have a VIP tour this morning of the brand new public safety complex.
    Pinellas County Commissioners will have a VIP tour this morning of the brand new public safety complex.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen accused of torturing tortoise faces sex charges

    Teen accused of torturing tortoise faces sex charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:58 AM EDT2014-07-31 07:58:27 GMT
    Greece's mug. Image Clay County Sheriff's Office/FCNGreece's mug. Image Clay County Sheriff's Office/FCN
    The teen accused of setting a protected tortoise on fire and killing it also faces sex charges after an encounter with a boy, FCN reported Wednesday.
    The teen accused of setting a protected tortoise on fire and killing it also faces sex charges after an encounter with a boy, FCN reported Wednesday.
  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.