The Powerball jackpot is barely under the half-a-billion-dollar mark; the prize has climbed to a whopping estimated $495 million for Saturday. The one-time cash payout for the March 16 Powerball drawing will be an estimated $300.2 million to the player who correctly picks all of the lottery numbers.
What time are the winning Powerball numbers drawn? Numbers are selected every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time, with Powerball results typically posted within five minutes.
In most states, ticket sales stop at least an hour before the drawing, but a state may cut off sales earlier, such as Illinois, which ends sales three hours before the drawing. In Maryland and New Jersey, ticket sales end at 9:59 p.m.; in Virginia, they close at 10 p.m. Check with your state lottery for the sales cut-off time.
The winning Powerball numbers for Saturday, March 16, are: 30, 34, 39, 53, 67 and the Powerball of 11.
The largest Powerball jackpot in history was $1.586 billion, which was shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016. Someone in South Carolina claimed the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot on Oct. 23, 2018.
The Powerball game is played by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball number. The odds of picking the correct Powerball grand prize numbers are one in 292,201,338. Powerball tickets cost $2 each, and are sold at thousands of Lottery retailers. Find out where you can buy your Powerball tickets here.
You have a better chance of hitting the jackpot if you let the computer pick your numbers, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates the Powerball game and reports that about 75 percent of winning tickets have numbers chosen by a computer.
The largest Powerball jackpots ever are as follows:
- $1.586 billion, Jan. 13, 2016
- $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017
- $688 million, Oct. 27, 2018
- $590.5 million, May 18, 2013
- $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012
- $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015
- $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018
- $487.0 million, July 30, 2016
- $456 million, March 17, 2018
- $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013
- $447.8 million, June 10, 2017
- $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017
When millions more players take part in the game at times there’s a huge jackpot, that doesn’t change your odds of winning, the lottery says. The odds of winning a prize are the same in every Powerball drawing — you have a 1 in 24.9 chance of winning a prize when the jackpot reaches $40 million or $1 billion.
The lottery game is played in 44 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball drawings can be seen on 125 TV stations nationwide. They may also be available on cable or your mobile device. Drawing shows are also posted to Powerball.com under the video section and to YouTube.
Claiming, Safeguarding Winnings
So, what should you do if you are lucky enough to claim the Powerball jackpot? Many lottery winners hire an attorney, financial planner or both, since most people don’t exactly know what to do when they suddenly come into so much money. Some even bring their lawyer with them to claim their prize. The lottery does not offer counseling services or financial advice for winners.
You have two choices when you claim your prize: the full value paid in 30 installments over 29 years, or a one-time lump sum that is smaller than the actual total. Then there are the taxes. The federal tax on lottery winnings is 25 percent. Then, any extra income taxes like state or city would apply.
Financial experts suggest that if you can get more than a 3 or 4 percent return on an investment, the lump sum is actually the best way to go in the long-term.