BOISE, Idaho – Powerball jackpot fever is sweeping Idaho as the new jackpot amount for the 30-payment, annuitized prize Wednesday night is an estimated $425,000,000. The cash value is estimated at $278.3 million. The jackpot amount is a new record for Powerball and the second largest ever offered in the history of the world. The Idaho Lottery is preparing its retailers for an increase in player traffic over the next three days and reminding all players to play responsibly.
“When the jackpot reaches a level this high, we want to remind everyone who participates to take part in the excitement but to do so responsibly,” said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “Playing a couple of dollars for the chance to win nearly half-a-billion dollars will certainly bring a lot of enthusiasm from our regular players and less frequent players. Please play what you can afford, do not go overboard.”
Retailers across Idaho already have seen in an increase in player participation. The last time players can purchase a ticket for the draw is 7:55 p.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday evening. The Idaho Lottery recommends players not wait until the last minute before the draw to purchase their tickets.
“Previously with big jackpots, it has not been uncommon for players to have to wait in line to buy tickets. We ask everyone to have patience with the retailers as they work with all of their customers. We also encourage players interested in participating to not wait until the last minute to buy their tickets,” added Anderson.
Anderson also reminds players to sign their tickets at the time they are purchased and keep them in a safe place until the draw. Idaho Lottery tickets are bearer instruments and the individual who has signed the ticket and presents it for payment is who the Lottery will pay.
Recent large jackpot runs have also encouraged the creation of family and office pools of players who collectively pitch in a few dollars each to buy their tickets. One group started as the result of a large jackpot last March, won $1,000,000 a few months later in late August. The previous Powerball record jackpot was won by a group of eight co-workers in Nebraska in 2006.
“The real entertainment value comes from imagining what you could do by winning this jackpot,” said Anderson. “Keep in mind, you cannot win if you do not have a ticket, but it does only take one ticket to win.”