EVERETT — If you’ve never bought a lottery ticket, now might be the time to part with $2.
Saturday’s Powerball jackpot is $1.6 billion, the highest in lottery history.
The prize was at $1.5 billion after 39 consecutive drawings on Wednesday with no grand winner. The multi-state lottery announced Friday the amount had grown to $1.6 billion.
Based on the buying frenzy of such a pot of dreams, it could be even higher by Saturday’s drawing.
The prior record $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot was in 2016, shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee. The largest Mega Millions jackpot was $1.537 billion, won by a single player in South Carolina in 2018. In July of this year, a $1.337 billion Mega Millions ticket was sold in Illinois.
The cash value of the $1.6 billion Powerball prize is a not-so-shabby $782.4 million. Or, live more frugally, and take it as an annuity in installments over 30 years.
Odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. Odds of a smaller prize, starting at $4, are 1 in 25.
Spending that $2 on a giant candy bar instead is a sure win.
This story was updated to reflect the new Powerball amount.