Powerball is advertising the jackpot for this weekend’s drawing as $435 million, the eighth-largest prize in the game’s history.
But if history is any guide, the winner likely won’t take home anything near that amount.
A review of Powerball winners from the past decade shows that the lucky ticket holders have opted to take the full annuity prize (which is paid out in annual installments over 30 years), rather than the cash option, just twice during that time period.
A California man who won in September 2014 chose the annuity option when he won a $228 million jackpot. A Colorado couple also picked the annuity when they won a $20 million jackpot in October 2007.
But every other winner over the past 10 years — more than 125 of them — chose to receive the prize as a lump sum.
If Saturday’s drawing produces a winner and the ticket holder follows that route, he or she will take home $273.1 million, minus taxes.
Local winners who have picked the cash prize include a New Jersey family that took home $284 million in cash, before taxes, after winning a drawing with a $429.6 million annuity jackpot; an Upper Darby woman who claimed a $77.4 million cash prize in a June 2013 drawing; and a Shore-area group that dubbed itself “Ocean’s 16” when it split a $258 million cash prize with two other tickets in August 2013.
No one has won the Powerball jackpot since the April 1 drawing.
The largest prize offered in lottery history was a January 2016 Powerball, which had a $1.6 billion jackpot. Three tickets split that prize. All three chose to receive their prizes in cash.