Already-largest ever Powerball jackpot surges to $900 million

The Powerball jackpot has now reached $900 million.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, expect about 65 percent or more of the possible number combinations to have been bought for Saturday night’s drawing.

Since Nov. 4, the Powerball jackpot has grown from its $40 million starting point as no one has won. It has rolled over 19 times leading up to Saturday’s $900 million dollar jackpot.

On Friday night, the other multi-state jackpot drawing, Mega Millions, had a winner on Staten Island. The winner let the computer pick (a quick-pick) the winning numbers at a store in the $165 million drawing. The ticket was purchased at 2520 Foodmart Corp. on Victory Boulevard on Staten Island.

If the Powerball drawing Saturday has no winner, the jackpot for Wednesday will be $1.3 billion.

On Saturday, hourly sales climbed to $1.7 million per hour, climbing steadily throughout the morning. The drawing is the largest Powerball jackpot ever and also the largest jackpot prize of any lottery game in U.S. history.

Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The largest Powerball jackpot before Saturday’s was $590.5 million, won in Florida in May 2013.

The second place prize is $1 million dollars for matching the first five numbers or $2 million if they paid an extra dollar for the Power Play feature when they bought their ticket.

The New York Lottery urges players to sign tickets upon receipt and to keep them in a secure place. Winners have one year from the date of the drawing to claim their prizes.

Watch the Powerball drawing on ABC7NY Saturday night right before the 11 p.m. news.