Powerball Jackpot At $325 Million

CHICAGO (STMW) – No doubt there are people throughout Illinois and 43 other states daydreaming about what they would do with the grand prize — estimated at $325 million — from Saturday night’s Powerball drawing. Perhaps they’d buy a warm-weather home — or a private island — where they could escape Chicago winters, season tickets to their favorite sports team — or possibly buy the team itself.

Gov. Pat Quinn was one of those who have purchased a ticket for Saturday night’s drawing. He bought his ticket Thursday at a Thompson Center newsstand while encouraging others to do the same and thus support education and capital construction programs that are funded with Illinois Powerball profits.

The estimated jackpot of $325 million — with a cash value of $203 million– is the largest cash jackpot of any U.S. Lottery game, according to the Illinois Lottery. After taxes a lucky winner will take home $142 million.

And lucky is what they will have to be, since the odds of matching the five numbers plus the one Power Ball number, winning the grand prize, are 1 in 175,223,510, according to the lottery.

Saturday night’s drawing will be held at 9:59 p.m., but ticket sales stop an hour and a half before that.

And if no one wins the Powerball jackpot Saturday night, Lottery officials project a jackpot of $415 million for Wednesday’s drawing – which would be the largest jackpot in U.S. history.

Currently, the largest ever Powerball jackpot was $365 million, won Feb. 18, 2006 in Nebraska.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


More From CBS Chicago

Super Bowl 50 Coverage
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!

Listen Live