Ticket sales have driven the Powerball jackpot in Saturday night’s drawing to 800-million dollars. That could climb to an even greater figure as sales continue through Saturday.
That’s the highest jackpot of any game in U.S. history according to Gary Gonder with the Missouri Lottery.
“The previous high jackpot was $656-million and that was in the Mega Millions game. It wasn’t in Powerball,” Gross told Missourinet. “The previous Powerball high was $590, so we’re really on a record pace in an uncharted territory.”
Gonder said last fall, changes were made to the game with the goal of driving up jackpots, and those seem to be doing their part.
“The lotteries involved – and there’s 47 different jurisdictions – they raised the odds of the top prize, but they actually made the overall odds better, so there’s 23-percent more winners in the game,” Gonder told Missourinet.
Gross said when the jackpot on any game runs up, sales go up on all games.
“The last two weeks we’ve had record scratchers sales as a result of Powerball,” said Gross. He said Friday morning alone, Missouri had recorded $1-million in Powerball sales. “Typically we only do a million-and-a-half in a full week.”
He said as of the Powerball drawing on Wednesday, the Missouri Lottery had made $9-million for public education on this one Powerball jackpot run.