Powerball $620M Jackpot Ready to Deliver Christmas Miracle

Posted on: December 22, 2023, 11:58h. 

Last updated on: December 25, 2023, 11:08h.

Powerball has an estimated $620 million top prize up for grabs during its next drawing set for Saturday, December 23. The drawing — coming just hours before Christmas Eve — stands to deliver a lucky winner with the 19th-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

Powerball jackpot Christmas holiday lottery gift
A Powerball ticket sold in Florida is displayed in front of a replica of the leg lamp made famous in “A Christmas Story.” The $620 million Powerball jackpot for Saturday’s drawing could make for a memorable Christmas for a lucky winner. (Image: Florida Lottery)

Powerball’s top prize, which is only won by a ticket overcoming the measly odds of one in 292.2 million to match all five drawn white ball numbers and the red Powerball, last hit on October 11. That jackpot was won by a ticket sold in California.

The $1.765 billion prize (one-time cash option of $774.1 million) was the second-richest Powerball prize in the game’s history. Saturday night’s top prize is worth considerably less, but stands to alter someone’s life.

The Powerball jackpot has surpassed $600 million. With less than four days to go until Christmas, the Powerball jackpot has risen to an estimated $620 million,” a Powerball statement issued on Thursday read.

Saturday’s jackpot has an estimated cash value of $310.8 million. The six balls will be drawn at 10:59 p.m. EST from the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee.

Lottery Sales Increase During Holidays

Even when their advertised 30-year annuitized jackpots aren’t in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Powerball and its primary competitor, Mega Millions, typically experience a sales rush during the holiday season.

Lottery tickets are popular gifts, and most state lotteries produce special holiday-themed scratchers. In Pennsylvania, for example, the state lottery has an “Ugly Sweater” second-chance drawing that allows nonwinning 2023 holiday-themed scratch-offs to enter into the “Scratch-Off Drawing.”

The second-chance top prize is worth $150K. Each scratcher gains one entry for every $1 in purchase price. Qualifying games include “Ho Ho Holiday,” “$1 Million Money Tree,” “$500,000 Merry-Mint,” “Jingle Buck,” “Let It Snow,” “Candy Cane Lane,” “Bah, Humbuck,” and “Naughty or Nice.”

With Powerball upwards of $620 million, the game run by the Multi-State Lottery Association presumably has the upper hand on Mega Millions this holiday season. The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night’s drawing is just $22 million.

Clarity on Mega Millions Win

The Mega Millions jackpot reset to $20 million after the game’s top prize was won during the December 8 drawing. Two tickets sold at the same store, a Chevron gas station at 18081 Ventura Blvd. in Encino, Calif., in Los Angeles County, matched the six winning numbers to claim the $394 million ($188.6 million cash) prize.

Mega Millions, in a release titled, “How Could This Happen? Two Winning Mega Millions Jackpot Tickets Sold at the Same Store,” said that the scenario, though rare, is explainable.

While this is incredibly unusual and interesting, it’s not unheard of,” said Carolyn Becker, a spokesperson with the California Lottery. “There are any number of explanations; perhaps one person wanted to try their luck on two different rows for whatever reason, or maybe a couple of buddies wanted to try their chances with the same exact numbers.”

Becker said the precise reason won’t be known until the winner or winners come forward to claim the prize. California lottery rules prohibit winners from remaining anonymous. Winners of Powerball and Mega Millions have up to a year to redeem their winnings.