Lottery officials say Oregon Powerball sales are soaring, as the jackpot in the multi-state game balloons to nearly half-a-billion dollars for Wednesday's drawing.
The multi-state Powerball jackpot is set to jump to a record 425-million dollars, and possibly higher for Wednesday's drawing, as Oregonians join in the ticket-buying frenzy. Oregon Lottery spokesman Chuck Bauman says retailers rang up more than $2.4 million-dollars' worth of Powerball sales last week, a 350-percent increase over the same week a year ago. He expects that pace to continue right up to the 7:00 p.m. sales deadline for Wednesday night's drawing.
If an Oregon resident wins the jackpot, the state is a winner, too. Bauman says Oregon stands to collect one million dollars a year for the next 20 years on the annuity plan, and $3 million if the winner takes the cash option.
Bauman says your chances of winning the jackpot are one in 175 million, but there are also smaller prizes. He says an Oregonian won a million dollars in Saturday night's drawing. If you do win, Bauman suggests taking the following steps:
1. Sign your ticket, so no one else can claim it if it gets lost.
2. Store the ticket in a safety deposit box, or other safe location.
3. Contact a reputable financial planner to come up with a strategy for handling the money, before you head to Oregon Lottery headquarters to claim your prize.
The previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by ConAgra Foods workers in Lincoln, Nebraska. Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the US Virgin Islands.