The fourth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history will be on the line Wednesday after no tickets were sold with all six numbers in the multi-state Powerball game for the 38th consecutive draw.
The estimated $1.2 billion jackpot is the largest for a U.S. lottery game since the $1.337 billion jackpot for the July 29 Mega Millions drawing. The record U.S. lottery jackpot is $1.586 billion for the Jan. 23, 2016, Powerball drawing. The second-largest is $1.537 billion for the Oct. 23, 2018, Mega Millions drawing.
The odds of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is 1 in about 293 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which conducts the game. There have been no tickets sold with all six numbers since Aug. 3.
Buying tickets at a store where tickets with large jackpots have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser’s chance of winning a jackpot, according to USC mathematics professor Ken Alexander.
“The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell,” Alexander told City News Service.
However, players wanting a better chance of avoiding sharing the jackpot should choose numbers that aren’t selected as often, Alexander said. Lottery players frequently choose the date of their birthdays as one of their numbers, so numbers higher than 31 would be played less, he said.