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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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