KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People across the Kansas City area and across the nation are hoping for some luck this weekend as the Powerball jackpot has reached an estimated $1.6 billion after 39 consecutive drawings without a top prize winner.
This is now the largest jackpot in the history of U.S. lottery.
Saturday’s jackpot has officially surpassed the previous record jackpots, including the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot awarded in 2016 and the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot awarded in 2018.
Powerball has been played since 1992. At the time, there were 14 participating states, as well as the District of Columbia. Since then, 30 more states have joined the game.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also participate in Powerball. There are five states that don’t: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.
More jackpot-winning tickets have been sold in Pennsylvania than in any other state, Powerball records show. A total of 18 winners have been recorded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the most recent jackpot in early August worth $122.4 million.
With the exception of the five states that do not participate, there are four states in which a Powerball jackpot has never been hit: Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
According to Powerball records, there have been 12 winners in Missouri and four winners in Kansas.
The most recent in Missouri was July 4, 2015, when Tom Rea, of St. Louis matched all five white-ball numbers and the Powerball to win $70 million.
For Kansas, it has been almost 10 years since someone has claimed the jackpot prize. A Johnson County couple in their 70s claimed the $50 million Powerball jackpot on Dec. 19, 2012. The winning ticket was purchased at a former 7-Eleven in Shawnee.
A couple in St. Charles, Missouri won the $96.5 million Powerball jackpot on March 22, 2014. The couple from Wichita, Kansas said they planned to used the money to purchase some new cars and take a trip to New Zealand where “The Lord of the Rings” movies were filmed.
A Kansas City, Missouri couple got to celebrate winning the $71.5 million Powerball Jackpot on Christmas day in 2013. It was the sixth-largest lottery prize sold in Missouri. The winning ticket was purchased at a BP gas station in Platte Woods.
This year, winning tickets have been sold in Pennsylvania, Vermont, Arizona, Connecticut, California and Wisconsin.
If you’re lucky enough to win the jackpot during Saturday night’s drawing, you can receive your pot as an annuity (30 graduated payments over 29 years) or as a lump sum. According to Powerball, the jackpot has a cash value of $497.3 million. According to Powerball, the jackpot has a cash value of $782.4 million.
If no one wins the jackpot in Saturday’s drawing, it will tie the game record for the number of consecutive drawings without a grand prize winner.