BOISE, Idaho ÔÇô Powerball and Mega Millions are in the midst of a historic jackpot duel. This is the first time in US history both jackpots have been over $400 million at the same time. As their jackpots continue to soar, their combined jackpots for this weekend are now an estimated $995 million, the third largest in combined jackpots in US history. As player participation increases, the Idaho Lottery is strongly urging all participants to please play responsibly.
"As interest in winning the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots begins to grow, remember each ticket has an equal chance of winning as any other ticket. It only takes one ticket to win," said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. "It's also important to remember there are tons of other prizes in the game, up to $2 million for a ticket that matches the first five numbers, but not the Powerball, and has the PowerPlay feature; And up to $5 million for a similar ticket with Megaplier on Mega Millions. Players are reminded to check their tickets carefully for winners after each draw occurs."
With no nationwide winner last night, the current Powerball annuitized jackpot estimate for Saturday night's draw is now $550 million. This is the sixth largest advertised jackpot in Powerball's history and the eighth largest jackpot in US history.
The Mega Millions jackpot was also boosted this morning. The Mega Millions annuitized jackpot estimate for Friday night's draw is now $445 million. This is the fourth largest advertised jackpot in Mega Millions history and the thirteenth largest in US history.
The Idaho Lottery has confirmed that one winning ticket for last night's Powerball draw matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. This winning ticket was sold at a retail location in Ada County and is worth $50,000. The winner has not come forward to claim their prize.
As the draws for Friday and Saturday night get closer, the Idaho Lottery recommends the following advice for players who want to participate in this weekend's big draws:
┬À Be patient when waiting to get a ticket. Get your tickets early and do not wait until the last minute as there may be lines.
┬À Be sure to sign your ticket at the time of purchase. Tickets are bearer instruments and the Idaho Lottery pays the person who signs and presents their ticket for payment.
┬À After the draw, check your tickets carefully for winners. Players can use the Idaho Lottery's free Check-a-ticket app (available at the App Store or Google Play Store), the Idaho Lottery's website, the Lottery's winning numbers hotline (208-334-4656), or at retail locations.
┬À The Idaho Lottery also encourages players to consider taking the annuity payment when they win. Each game's annuity prize is made in 30 payments over 29 years and pays out the full jackpot amount.
"Players who elect to take the annuity receive the entire prize over time," added Anderson. "Each year, for twenty-nine years after your first payment, you receive a check worth eight figures. And this will be passed on to your estate and beneficiaries in the future."
Wednesday night's Powerball draw produced 14,816 winning tickets worth $139,986 in Idaho. Tuesday night's Mega Millions draw produced 6,004 winning tickets worth $34,474 in Idaho.
Players who wish to purchase a ticket for the Mega Millions jackpot must do so before 7:55 pm MT on Friday, January 5, 2018. Players who wish to purchase a ticket for the Powerball jackpot must do so before 7:55 pm MT on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
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ABOUT THE IDAHO LOTTERY
The Idaho Lottery responsibly provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch GamesTM, and PullTabs with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the Idaho Lottery has sold over $3.4 billion in products, awarded over $2 billion in prizes to players, returned $200 million in retail commissions, and distributed $792.5 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and the Permanent Building Fund. To learn more, please visit www.idaholottery.com.