The drawing for this week’s estimated $570 million Powerball jackpot will take place at 10.59 p.m. Eastern time Saturday after no one held the winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
And the jackpot for Mega Millions has also topped $400 million. The drawing for the estimated $450 million prize is scheduled for 11 p.m. on Friday. Both jackpots have been growing since October, when each had their last big winner.
The current Powerball jackpot would rank as the lottery’s fifth-biggest prize. The biggest-ever jackpot was $1.6 billion, which was claimed by three winning tickets in January 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot would rank fourth among that lottery’s prizes.
The odds of winning Powerball are still about 1 in 292 million, and those for Mega Millions are 1 in nearly 303 million. By comparison, the odds of being killed by lightning in any given year, according to National Geographic, are 1 in 700,000.
The jackpot is won by correctly picking the numbers on all five white balls drawn (69 choices in Powerball, 70 in Mega Millions) as well as the correct number on the red ball (26 choices in Powerball, 25 in Mega Millions).
Winners can accept the prize in an annuity to be paid out over 29 years, or they can opt for a lump-sum cash payment. Both options have tax implications and consequences for any winner’s long-term financial goals. The lump sum is the current value of the jackpot in cash, which is typically far less than can be earned via the annuity.
Tickets for each lottery start at $2.
Financial advisers have plenty to say about what to do with the winnings: for example, these five must-dos after winning the lottery
Also: Why you still shouldn’t buy any lottery tickets
They also have strong views on not wasting money by buying a lot of tickets, given the slim odds. Some of the biggest buyers of what many describe as a voluntary tax are low-income earners, as MarketWatch has reported. Others make the case that investing in the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.70% and Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.88% or other longer-term investments, are better ways to put your money to work.
But few things beat the intrigue of a lottery.
Now read: Want to win the Powerball? These numbers come up more than others