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Powerball jackpot tops $400 million

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Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot has surpassed the $400 million mark and is now the sixth- largest in history, according to an article published by MSN Money on February 19, 2014.

No one selected the winning combination over the weekend. The lack of a winner, combined with more people buying tickets, has pushed the Powerball jackpot ever higher. It is now past the $400 million level ahead of Wednesday’s drawing.

Saturday’s jackpot was an impressive $330.8 million and it did inspire millions to play. But it wasn’t enough to result in a winner and Wednesday’s jackpot is that much larger as a result. Inclement weather could convince some to stay home and forgo playing Powerball, but officials still expect sales to be brisk.

At $400 million, the lump sum payout would be $228 million before taxes. Almost every winner elects the lump sum payout, even though it is less than the total dollars received under the annuity option. The lump sum offers the benefit of immediate money and investment, which can lead to even more money. This is enough to sway most winners to the lump sum side.

Powerball’s record payout was $590.5 million in May, 2013. The present $400 million prize is well below the record and it will take a few more drawings without a winner to approach the all- time high. But $400 million is still impressive and it should encourage millions of additional sales between now and tonight’s drawing.

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