RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s that time again — the time when many holdouts go ahead and purchase a few lottery tickets since the payout has grown so massive.
An estimated surge of more than $200 million to the jackpot took place after the big prize was not won on Wednesday. That drawing was the 33rd consecutive drawing without a winner.
New jackpot: $1.4 billion
The major spike now brings the jackpot to a whopping $1.4 billion ahead of the next drawing on Saturday. This jackpot now ranks as the third-largest in Powerball history and the fifth-largest in U.S. history.
“We have seen a lot of big Powerball wins here recently and we are all hoping for a billion-dollar win Saturday night,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery.
Wednesday winners in N.C.
While there were no jackpot claimers from Wednesday’s drawing, four different tickets in North Carolina matched four white balls and the red Powerball to win $50,000. Two of the tickets added Power Play and doubled to $100,000 when the 2X multiplier hit.
The two $100,000 winning tickets were each sold as $3 Power Plays, one from Online Play in Goldsboro and the other from the Mar Mac Express Mart on U.S. 117 South in Dudley.
The tow $50,000 winning tickets were sold in-store at the Kingsway on Kendrick Road in Gastonia and the Publix on Harris Square Drive in Harrisburg.
The odds & how to play
The Powerball jackpot was last hit in the July 19 drawing when a ticket in California won the $1.08 billion prize. Here’s a look at how you might become the next big winner and what the odds of that happening are:
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.
To put that in perspective, Syracuse University mathematics professor Steven Diaz told the Associated Press a comparison is commonly made between winning a lottery jackpot and being struck by lightning.
Breaking the down to more of a science, Diaz said even if you bought a lottery ticket for every drawing over 80 years — two times a week for Mega Millions and three times a week for Powerball — you would still be far less likely to win than to be struck by lighting once in your lifetime, Syracuse University mathematics professor Steven Diaz added.
“Make sure to check your tickets carefully after the drawing and good luck to everybody going for the jackpot,” Michalko said.