The biggest lottery prize in months is up for grabs in Monday night’s Powerball drawing after no ticket matched all six numbers Saturday night.
The top prize could make someone $685 million richer. Trying his hand at an Appomattox convenience store, Antwan Herndon hopes it’s his ticket.
“I bought two or three,” he says. “I don’t normally play the lottery, but I’m feeling lucky.”
It’s a first for him, and according to the experts, it is for many others, too.
“When the jackpot gets to a level like this, where there’s a lot of excitement and people are talking about it, we see a lot more people who don’t normally play taking a chance at it,” Virginia Lottery Spokesperson John Hagerty says.
Hagerty says June was the last time there was a Powerball win. As the jackpot grows, so does the excitement. However, experts warn not to go too crazy.
“The odds are long, and we make no secret of that,” Hagerty says.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot is one is 292,000,000. A person is actually more likely to get hit by a meteorite or die from a shark attack.
“The odds are a little more favorable for matching a few numbers and winning a lesser prize,” Hagerty says. “Don’t throw a ticket away just because you didn’t match all six numbers.”
If a person does match all six numbers, they have an interesting choice to make. They can either opt to be paid the full amount through an annuity over 29 years.
However, most winners prefer the cash option. For Monday night’s drawing, that would be an estimated $478.8 million before taxes.
Monday night’s lottery numbers will be announced at 11 p.m. If there is no winner, the jackpot will increase to $735 million.
Experts add, of course, the odds of winning if a person doesn’t buy a ticket are exactly zero.