Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich says the Powerball jackpot has gone unclaimed since October 25th and the jackpot is an estimated 384 million for Saturday’s drawing.
“That’s a lot of money — 239 million in a lump sum — so it would be quite a treat, king of an after-Christmas present if we could get some of the Iowans to win this big pot,”Rich says. The Mega Millions jackpot is an estimated $306 million for today’s drawing, which would pay out $191.1 million if you take the lump-sum option.
The only other time the two jackpots hit this level together was in August of this year. Rich says this is the level where people who aren’t weekly players try to grab a share.
“That 300 million dollar mark seems to be the point where everybody kind of jumps on board,” Rich says. “The jackpots move a little slow and then once it hits 300 million, everybody dives in and tries to get a piece of it. So, I think it’s kind of the expectations of the customers and players who want to try to hit the big one when it does get big.” These jackpots come at a time when they may not increase as rapidly if they aren’t won.
He says people are on vacation and holiday and that means there’s probably less work pools, which he says seem to increase the jackpots dramatically. Rich says hitting one of the jackpots has high odds — and hitting the double would really be tough. He says the odds of hitting both are astronomical, but he says it’s a fun way to dream a little.
Rich says you should remember the odds and not let the dreams of multi-millions dictate your decision to purchase tickets.
“Play with your head, not above your head,” Rich says. “Have a little fun and we’d love to present you with a big check.” You can buy Mega Millions tickets today up until 8:59 p.m.