Published: Sat, January 09, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Sales grow as Powerball jackpot soars to $900 million

So many people were playing Powerball in Iowa on Friday that lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said some stores were running out of paper for tickets, leaving lottery workers scrambling to resupply the outlets, the Associated Press reported.

According to USA Mega, the take-home cash total for a $900 million Powerball is actually $558 million, or 62% of the total pool. Other locations in the top five include: Dixie Food Mart (Fairfield), Circle K (Hamilton), Hamilton Quick Stop (Hamilton) and Ameristop Food Mart (Hamilton).

If you chose to spend the $2 on your Powerball jackpot ticket hoping to win the $800 million jackpot, don't forget to tune in either on an app or on television, to see what numbers get drawn. A single victor of Saturday's draw would get about $299.6 million as a lump sum. One hopeful thought: Scott A. Norris, an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University, says your tiny odds improve a bit if you let the computer pick your numbers rather than choosing yourself. If the Powerball drawing Saturday has no victor, the jackpot for Wednesday will be $1.3 billion.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Extremely high ticket sales could help drive the jackpot even higher. "I'd be so happy for them", Culver said. So what you pay on that payout next year may be different than what you pay in taxes 10 years from now.

Momtaz Parvin pulls a Powerball lottery ticket from the printer at her store in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, as the multi-state jackpot reaches $800 million.

Unfortunately, there are lots of stories about lottery winners who blow through their winnings only to end up paupers just a few years later.

If a non-U.S. citizen wins the lottery they are subject to federal withholding taxes for non-U.S. citizens, which is 30 percent of their winnings.

Then there are local taxes.

You are more likely to be eaten by a shark or become President than win tonight's Powerball drawing.

The Powerball website goes on to remind players that, should they win, they have 60 days to claim their prize.

Powerball winners also have the option of collecting their prize money in annual payments, or an annuity.

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