The Economist once calculated there’s a 1-in-5,371,369 chance of a person’s plane going down in the Atlantic Ocean if they took the same Virgin Atlantic Airbus 330 flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Kennedy Airport every day — for the next 14,716 years.
Odds are that’d happen long before they ever won the Powerball. Yet, despite having about the same chance of hitting the contest’s elusive jackpot as a snowball does surviving a Long Island August, it’s likely millions took a shot at the estimated $375 million grand prize by the time the numbers were picked late Wednesday night.
The winning Powerball numbers are 66, 57, 5, 69, 21, and a Powerball of 13. Before anyone’s hopes go sky high, time for a reality check.
There hasn’t been a jackpot winner in the nationwide lottery since April 1 — when someone in Arizona hit for $60 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
That’s 17 drawings without a jackpot winner, which upped the estimated grand prize for Wednesday’s drawing.
Powerball officials said the jackpot prize has a cash value of $235.4 million and would be the 12 largest in the history of Powerball, which started in April 1992.
According to the Powerball website players have a 1-in-39 chance of winning $4 for having either the Powerball or the Powerball plus one number. Odds of winning $100? Try 1 in 14,495 — that for hitting four numbers or three numbers plus the Powerball. The odds of winning $1 million — awarded for having all five numbers, without the Powerball — are 1 in 11,688,054.
But, actually winning Powerball, which means having all five numbers correct plus the Powerball?
Try 1-in-292,201,338. Ouch.
And still, there’s always the dream. After all, there were three winning tickets sold in the largest Powerball jackpot ever won — $1.586 billion, drawn on Jan. 13, 2016, with winners in California, Florida and Tennessee. And the largest single-winner pot was to a winning ticket in Florida, good for $590.5 million on May 18, 2013.
Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Winning numbers are drawn from white balls between 1 and 69 and a Powerball numbered from 1 to 26.
The next Powerball drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m. Saturday.