No Powerball Winner, Jackpot Reaches Record $1.3 Billion | NBC New York
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No Powerball Winner, Jackpot Reaches Record $1.3 Billion

The next Powerball drawing is Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

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    Customers wait in line at the Blue Bird Liquor Store to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Ticket sales for the multi-state Powerball lottery soared Saturday as people dreamed of winning the largest jackpot in U.S. history which grew by $100 million to hit $900 million just hours before Saturday night's drawing. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

    Disappointed you didn't win the Powerball jackpot this weekend? Don't be.

    Lottery officials say the estimated $1.3 billion prize is the world's largest. Ever.

    No one matched all six Powerball numbers Saturday night, leading to the astronomical prize, which is all but certain to grow before the next drawing Wednesday as others buy tickets, said Kelly Cripe with the Texas Lottery.

    Since Nov. 4, the Powerball jackpot has ballooned from its starting point of $40 million. Such a huge jackpot was just what officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, hoped for last fall when they changed the odds of matching all the Powerball numbers, from about one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million. By making it harder to win a jackpot, the tougher odds made the ever-larger prizes inevitable.

    The U.S. saw sales of $277 million on Friday alone and more than $400 million were expected Saturday, according to Gary Grief, the executive director of the Texas Lottery.

    The record jackpot lured an unprecedented frenzy of purchases. Anndrea Smith, 30, said Saturday that she already had spent more than she usually does on Powerball tickets.

    "I bought four yesterday, and I usually never buy any," said Smith, manager of Bucky's gas station and convenience store in Omaha, Nebraska. She's not alone, saying the store sold "about $5,000 worth of tickets yesterday. Usually on a Friday, we might sell $1,200 worth."

    Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. 

    While that's the largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever, lotteries elsewhere in the world can be far bigger. Spain's massively popular Christmas lottery, known as "El Gordo," is ranked as the world's richest and last month showered 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) across the country in millions of prizes.

    As for the U.S., here's a look at the 10 previous highest jackpots and where the winners were from:

    1. $656.0 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (3 tickets from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)

    2. $636 million, Mega Millions Dec 17, 2013, (2 tickets, from California and Georgia)

    3. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (1 ticket from Florida)

    4. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (2 tickets from Arizona and Missouri)

    5. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb 11, 2015 - (3 tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)

    6. $448.4 million, Powerball, Aug 7, 2013, (3 tickets, one from Minnesota and two from New Jersey)

    7. $425.3 million, Powerball, Feb 19, 2014 - (1 ticket from California)

    8. $414 million, Mega Millions, March 18, 2014, (2 tickets from Florida and Maryland)

    9. $399.4 million, Powerball, Sept 18, 2013, (1 ticket from South Carolina)

    10. $390.0 million, Mega Millions, March 6, 2007 (2 tickets from Georgia and New Jersey)