Powerball Third Weekly Draw Starts Monday; Mass. Man Claims $500K Just in Time

Posted on: August 21, 2021, 11:01h. 

Last updated on: August 22, 2021, 09:56h.

The $290 million Powerball jackpot didn’t go out on Saturday night. But now players will get an extra chance to win each week, as the multi-state lottery goes to three draws a week, starting on Monday.

Powerball Mondays
Leonard Thomas of South Dennis, Mass., shows off the ceremonial $500,000 check from the Massachusetts State Lottery Corp. He claimed his prize just as it would have expired. Starting Monday, the multi-state lottery game will offer three draws a week. (Image: Massachusetts State Lottery)

The jackpot for the historic Monday night drawing is an estimated $293 million, with a cash option valued at $214.2 million. After Monday, the multi-million-dollar jackpot game will keep its other draws on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Drawings take place at 10:59 pm ET.

The news was announced earlier this year as the officials in the game’s 47 participating lotteries, including New York, signed off on the expansion.

“Players will still have the same odds and base ticket price, just more chances to get into the game,” said May Scheve Reardon, the chair of the Powerball Product Group and the Missouri Lottery’s executive director.

In the release, the Powerball Product Group said the added draw is expected to produce larger and faster-growing jackpots.

For $2 a chance, players pick five numbers from 1 to 69, and then pick their Powerball in a separate pool from 1 to 26. The odds to win are slightly more than 1 in 292 million. There is a quick pick option if players don’t have their own lucky numbers.

Powerball Sales Up More Than 50 Percent

Like elsewhere in the US gaming industry, 2021 has been a very good year for Powerball.

According to sales figures tracked by LottoReport.com, ticket sales for the 67 draws through Saturday total more than $2.72 billion. That’s an increase of $946.7 million, or 53.4 percent, through the same number of draws in 2020.

A major factor for the sales boom was the major jackpot that kept growing through the first three weeks of January.

The $228.6 million in tickets sold on Jan. 20 was the largest sales total for one draw since 2018. That’s when $239.7 million in tickets were sold for the $620 million drawing on Oct. 24, 2018.

This time, one ticket in Maryland matched the numbers to claim the $731.1 million prize.

In comparing corresponding draws from this year to last year, only 9 of the 67 drawing dates saw a reduction in sales from last year. And six of those declines came within the eight draws immediately after the big jackpot was claimed.

$500K Winner Claims Prize 364 Days After Drawing

The Powerball last went out on June 5. However, a winner from an August 2020 drawing produced a $500,000 ticket on Wednesday, mere hours before the filing deadline.

Leonard Thomas of South Dennis came into the Massachusetts State Lottery Corp. headquarters with the winning ticket from the Aug. 19, 2020, drawing, according to a lottery release.

Thomas matched four of the five regular numbers and the Powerball for that drawing through a quick pick. That’s typically a $50,000 prize. However, he spent $1 more for a Power Play, which multiplies the payout on non-jackpot winners. For that drawing, the randomly drawn multiplier was 10 times the base prize.

He said he heard a report about the soon-to-expire prize both on the radio and from his nephew.

The Mobil gas station in the Cape Cod town sold the ticket.

“I play at that store and have a plastic sleeve that I keep my tickets in,” Thomas said. “When I heard about the expiring ticket, I looked through the tickets in the sleeve and found a Powerball ticket from August 19, 2020. I had it scanned at a convenience store, and the clerk indicated that I had to go to the Lottery to claim the prize.”

He added he plans to buy a year-round cottage or house with his winnings.

Had he missed the deadline, Thomas’ winnings would have been distributed with the rest of the lottery’s profits to the state’s 351 cities and towns.