The Powerball jackpot hasn’t been hit since August, making way for the prize to reach $1.2 billion ahead of Wednesday’s drawing.
If a ticket matches the winning numbers, seen below, the winner will have landed the second-largest jackpot in Powerball history and the fourth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
Here are the winning numbers from Wednesday’s drawing: 2, 11, 22, 35, and 60, and Powerball number 23.
This is the second lottery prize to surpass $1 billion this year.
In July, the Mega Millions jackpot reached a historic $1.34 billion. It was the nation’s third-largest lottery prize and went unclaimed until September when two Illinois winners came forward to collect it.
If no ticket matches all six of the numbers above, the Powerball jackpot will move closer to — and potentially surpass — the record $1.586 billion won by three Powerball players in 2016, which is also the largest lottery prize the nation has ever seen.
Here are the 10 largest Powerball jackpots to date:
- $1.586 Billion: Jan. 13, 2016 (CA, FL, TN)
- $1.2 Billion (Estimated): Nov. 2, 2022
- $768.4 Million: March 27, 2019 (WI)
- $758.7 Million: Aug. 23, 2017 (MA)
- $731.1 Million: Jan. 20, 2021 (MD)
- $699.8 Million: Oct. 4, 2021 (CA)
- $687.8 Million: Oct. 27, 2018 (IA, NY)
- $632.6 Million: Jan. 5, 2022 (CA, WI)
- $590.5 Million: May 18, 2013 (FL)
- $587.5 Million: Nov. 28, 2012 (AZ, MO)
As it stands, $1.2 billion is the fourth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history, falling behind two Mega Millions jackpots.
If you’re lucky enough to win the jackpot, you can receive your pot as an annuity (30 graduated payments over 29 years) or as a lump sum. According to Powerball, the jackpot has a cash value of $596.7 million.
You may want to think twice before collecting the cash option though. Winners of giant jackpots nearly always take the cash, and financial advisers say that might be a mistake.
Nicholas Bunio, a certified financial planner from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, said even with his expertise, he would take an annuity because it would so dramatically reduce his risk of making poor investment decisions.
“It allows you to make a mistake here and there,” Bunio said. “People don’t understand there is a potential for loss. They only focus on the potential for gain.”
The gulf between the cash and annuity options has become larger because inflation has prompted a rise in interest rates, which in turn results in potentially larger investment gains. With annuities, the jackpot cash is essentially invested and then paid out to winners over three decades.
Under the annuity plan, winners will receive an immediate payment and then 29 annual payments that rise by 5% each year until finally reaching the $1.2 billion total.
Officials urge anyone lucky enough to win a Powerball jackpot to consult a financial adviser — while keeping that valuable ticket safe — before showing up at a lottery office for an oversized check.
Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.