Powerball jackpot increases to $1.55 billion (News21USA): The Powerball jackpot, which saw no winning tickets in Saturday’s drawing, is set to rollover and increase, as per the game’s website. The jackpot, originally at $1.4 billion, will now grow to $1.55 billion, making it the third-largest in Powerball’s history, with the second-largest being $1.586 billion in 2016.
The most recent Powerball jackpot winner emerged after the drawing on July 19, claiming the $1.08 billion prize with the winning ticket sold in California. While lottery games have been generating billion-dollar jackpots two or three times a year, this marks the first instance of consecutive billion-dollar-plus jackpots.
Economics professor Victor Matheson from the College of the Holy Cross explained that the escalation of jackpots and fewer winners is a deliberate strategy. Over the years, organizers have increased the number of balls in drawings, raised ticket prices from $1 to $2, and directed more purchase money into the primary jackpot.
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Matheson stated, “All of these things have been engineered by the lottery associations to give you super exciting billion dollar lotteries.” Additionally, Powerball and Mega Millions have evolved from regional lotteries to nationwide phenomena, broadening the pool of potential buyers across the country, thereby making it exceedingly challenging to win.
Drew Svitko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, acknowledged the trend of large jackpots in Powerball, stating, “This has become another top-charting jackpot in the Powerball game, and we’ve had several factors align at the right time to be able to support back-to-back billion-dollar jackpots.”