The Powerball jackpot for Saturday is for a record $600 million, shattering the previous mark of $587 million set last year. Powerball officials predict the jackpot will climb even higher as sales surge nationally leading up to the much anticipated drawing.
There is no denying big jackpots attract new players to the game.
"I saw a young man buy his first Powerball ticket this morning," said Education Lottery Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea. "As excitement and word of this record jackpot spreads, with a cash payout of $376 million, we will start to see even more players waiting in line to buy their first tickets."
"What we don't want to see is our regular players playing more," Bethea emphasized. "The odds of winning are the same if you buy one ticket or 20. So please, play responsibly."
Winning it all is a longshot at 1 in 176 million, but someone will, and representatives from the Education Lottery are hoping the jackpot run stops right here in South Carolina.
"We feel like it's our time," said Bethea. "It's been almost four years since we sold our last jackpot-winning ticket, that one worth $259 million, so we are optimistic. But even if we don't sell the jackpot-winning ticket, we could still celebrate a $1 million or a $2 million winner. So check your tickets, there are eight ways to win in addition to the jackpot prize."
Powerball's decision to double the price of a ticket to $2 touting bigger jackpots, better odds and more millionaires has paid off for players. Since the changes in January of 2012, Powerball has created nearly 650 millionaires, roughly nine millionaires every week with the $1 million and $2 million prizes.
South Carolinians wanting to take a chance on Saturday's record drawing must purchase tickets by 9:59 p.m. for the 10:59 p.m. drawing.
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