$1.6 Billion Powerball Lottery Prize Split Three Ways

Posted on: January 14, 2016, 04:30h. 

Last updated on: January 14, 2016, 04:31h.

Three winners split Powerball jackpot
Powerball to the third power: three winners will split the biggest lottery jackpot ever, but expect more dizzying jackpots to come, thanks to recent rule changes. (Image: kron4.com)

The record $1.6 billion Powerball Lottery jackpot will be split between three winners.

Lottery officials said this morning that three winning tickets had been sold respectively in Tennessee, California, and Florida, although as of Thursday morning, none of the winners had come forward.

The winning numbers, incidentally, were 08 27 34 04 19 and Powerball 10. They seem so obvious now, don’t they?

Thousands of people lined up outside the convenience stores of America on Wednesday as lottery fever gripped the nation.

Meanwhile, Lottoland, a company that sells domestic lottery tickets abroad, reported that its website crashed, after 107,000 Australians signed-up to the site and overwhelmed its servers.

The company had just this week received its license to operate in Australia.     

Crowds Gather

According to the California Lottery, a crowd gathered last night at the 7-Eleven store in Chino Hills, where one of the winning tickets had been sold, cheering and taking pictures. The store itself will receive a bonus of $1 million.     

The fact that we have three winners, of course, means that we’re not looking at the biggest-ever payout in the history of the lottery, but it’s close. That record remains the $590 million windfall that befell one lucky Floridian in May 2013.

Each winner from yesterday’s draw will take home $528.8 million before taxes (federal tax is 39 percent, but there will be state and local taxes to pay as well), and substantially less if they want to take a lump sum, rather than receive the money in annual installments over the next 29 years after the initial payout.

The lump sum prize, incidentally, would be a paltry $310 million.

Fiddling with Their Balls

And if you think $1.6 billion is an insane amount of money for a lottery win, you’d better get used to it.

This staggering jackpot is no accident: it’s all thanks to a rule change enacted by the Multi-State Lottery Association in October that sneakily made the jackpot harder to win, while simultaneously increasing public interest.  

The association increased the number of white balls from 59 to 69, which makes it easier to win a small prize ($4 and $7), but reduced the number of Powerball options from 36 to 26. In doing so, it stretched the odds of winning the jackpot from roughly 1 in 175 million to about 1 in 292 million.

“Powerball has been revamped seven other times in its 23-year history so that the game can continue to be attractive to players by delivering the big jackpots that players want, and these new changes will do just that,” Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, said recently.

In short, expect the lottery jackpot to climb to even dizzier heights soon, just don’t expect to win it.  Although somewhere in California, Florida, and Tennessee, three lucky folks just beat the craziest gambling odds around.