Powerball Jackpot Reaches $1.4 Billion

Lottery officials say the Powerball jackpot has grown to $1.4 billion dollars. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Lottery officials say the Powerball jackpot has grown to $1.4 billion dollars. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP and NewsPop) — People all over the country are dreaming about winning the lottery. That’s because the jackpot for a multi-state lottery called Powerball has reached about $1.4 billion!

The jackpot for the twice-weekly game started at $40 million on Nov. 4 and has been growing ever since. Now it’s the largest lottery jackpot in the world.

Some electronic billboards and signs at convenience stores are having trouble displaying the number because it is so big. The signs were designed with millions — not billions — in mind. So in Texas, billboards are advertising the prize as $999 million.

The winner has the option of being paid $1.4 billion through annual payments over 29 years or choosing one $868 million cash payment. But 39.6 percent of the lump sum would go to federal income taxes.

Plus, most states would take a chunk — something winners in Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming wouldn’t have to worry about because those states have no income tax.

The chance of winning the prize? One in 292.2 million, so it’s not very high.

Powerball officials will allow you to purchase all possible combinations, but it isn’t a smart thing to do. At $2 a ticket, the strategy would cost about $584 million, and when taxes are subtracted, you’d end up losing money.

Plus, if someone else matched the winning numbers, too, you’d have to split the prize.

What would you do with the money if you won the jackpot? Let us know in the comments below.

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