Powerball jackpot rises to $1 billion. See how Canadians can try their luck

FILE - The Powerball jackpot has grown to US$760 million (over C$1 billion), with the next draw scheduled for Dec. 30, 2023. Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Before the year is over, a lucky someone could win the estimated life-altering US$760 million (over C$1 billion) Powerball jackpot.

The prize inflated from US$700 million (more than C$925.9 million) after Wednesday’s draw failed to produce a winning ticket. According to Powerball rules, when a jackpot goes unclaimed, the prize rolls over into the lottery’s next draw.

The numbers drawn on Wednesday were: 4, 11, 38, 51, 68 and red Powerball 5. The Power Play was 3.

Wednesday’s results did not bring a jackpot winner but still saw one player in Texas walk away with US$2 million (about C$2.6 million) as a smaller prize for matching only all five white balls. Another Powerball player in California also scored a smaller US$1-million (around C$1.3 million) win.

The next lotto drawing, which will be the final one in 2023, will take place on Saturday.

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Should Saturday’s jackpot reach the estimated $1 billion amount, it will be sixth-highest win in the Powerball’s history.

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As is usually the way with lotto wins, the lucky ticketholder will face considerable taxes on their earnings.

The jackpot winner will be given the option to claim their money in 30 annual instalments or as a lump sum of US$382.5 million (nearly C$505.9 million). According to Forbes, the lump sum option would shrink after taxes to US$290.7 million (about C$384.5 million) — though this still remains the more popular of the two options among lotto winners.

Should the winner choose to receive payment in annual instalments, they would receive around US$25.3 million (around C$33.4 million) per year, on average.

The rate of taxes deducted in both the lump sum and annual instalment options can inflate depending on the winner’s income, area of residence and other factors.

According to Powerball, the odds of winning the jackpot are about one in 292.2 million.

Can I play if I’m Canadian?

Powerball players do not need to be U.S. citizens or residents to enter the lottery, so Canadians are more than welcome to try their luck too.

Still, that doesn’t mean it’s exactly easy to purchase a Powerball ticket. The best way to play in the U.S. nationwide lottery is to cross the border and purchase a ticket yourself. If you have a trustworthy friend or family member already in the U.S., they can purchase a ticket for you as well — but you’ll have to be certain they won’t run away with the earnings if your ticket is a winner.

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Powerball tickets are US$2 (C$2.65) per play.

The largest ever Powerball jackpot was won on Nov. 7, 2022, and totalled US$2.04 billion (C$2.69 billion).

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