Randy Yohe Published

Nearly $2 Billion Powerball Jackpot Sparking Lottery Fever

Stacks of $100 bills are seen stacked on top of another.
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot whittles down to a cash value of a little more than $750 million.

Wednesday’s $1.73 billion Powerball jackpot has old and new lottery players coming out of the woodwork.   

West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said the second largest U.S. lottery jackpot in history has ticket machines and lottery vendors working overtime.

“You’ll see lines in some cases to purchase tickets,” Myers said. “We have a group of base players that do play regularly, but when the jackpot is a higher number, usually around $400 million or so, we start seeing other people that don’t normally play, start buying tickets.”

Myers said with a giant jackpot like this, the office pools for Powerball tickets gain more members. 

“The joke is you always want to make sure you get in the pool,” he said.  “Because you’re not going to want to be the only person that has to show up for work tomorrow.”

Myers said when you see the winning numbers on your ticket, be sure to immediately sign the back, since it instantly becomes a bearer instrument.  

“If it would be lost and picked up by somebody else, and your name’s not on the back of it, they could cash your ticket.” Myers said. “So, please sign your ticket, then put it in a very safe place, and then seek guidance from one, an attorney and two, a financial adviser.” 

Myers said about $200 million a year from lottery ticket sales goes back into three statute-designated state programs. 

“It goes to education, senior citizens and tourism,” Myers said. “Also, if that $1.73 billion was hit here in West Virginia, there would be a 6 percent personal income tax that would go into the state coffers as well, so that would be a significant number.”

Perhaps the most significant number, Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot whittles down to a cash value of a little more than $750 million. 

The odds of hitting that jackpot are one in 292.2 million. Good Luck!