ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Lottery announced today that the $310 million Powerball jackpot for Saturday’s drawing is the fifth largest in the game’s 20-year history. The jackpot’s cash option is an estimated $193.4 million.
The run up to $310 million began 13 drawings ago on Dec. 28. The odds of matching all six numbers to win a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million.
New Mexico Lottery CEO Tom Romero reminded players to be responsible.
“Playing any lottery game should be about fun, not about solving a financial problem,” Romero said. “We are asking people to play only within their means.”
The game’s record jackpot is $365 million. It was won by co-workers at ConAgra Foods in Nebraska in February 2006. New Mexico’s record Powerball jackpot is $206.9 million. It was won by nine friends from Roswell in September 2008. While Powerball players in New Mexico have bought $601.5 million in tickets, they have won $650 million in prizes, including five jackpots and more than 220 prizes ranging between $100,000 and $1 million.
Last month, Larry and Cynthia Martinez of Blanco won a $1 million Powerball prize.
Powerball is played in 44 lotteries. Players choose five numbers from a pool of white balls numbered one through 59 and one number from a pool of red balls numbered one through 35. Players can also ask for a “quick pick,” a set of numbers chosen by the lottery’s gaming system. Each wager costs $2. Players can purchase wagers for up to 10 consecutive advance drawings.
In addition to the jackpot, there are eight prize levels ranging between $4 and $1 million. An option called Power Play multiplies non-jackpot prizes up to $2 million. Power Play costs an additional $1 per play per draw.
Powerball drawings are on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets can be purchased until 8 p.m. MT for that night’s drawing.
All profits from the sale of New Mexico Lottery games fund an in-state college tuition assistance program. Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $506.5 million for education and more than 75,300 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.